Teachers union examines the impact of a referendum question that would eliminate the MCAS graduation requirements

Teachers Union is looking at the ballot question in Massachusetts that would eliminate MCAS graduation requirements. The Teachers union is examining the impact that this change could have on students and teachers. While some believe that removing MCAS graduation requirements could allow students to have more flexibility, and less stress, others think that it’s an important measure for ensuring academic standards and accountability.

The union is analyzing the ballot question in depth, taking into account factors like how it aligns to the education goals of the state and what potential effects it could have on the college and career readiness of students. The union acknowledges the importance of student-centered assessment, but is concerned that removing the MCAS requirements could affect teachers’ abilities to assess student progress and deliver targeted instruction. They want to make a decision that is informed and prioritizes both the interests of students and educators.

Massachusetts Teachers Association, which released poll results indicating significant support for the MCAS graduation requirements, indicated that the debate could be included in the ballot questions of 2024.

“We are exploring two questions — one eliminating the graduation requirement on MCAS and replacing it with a much better assessment system,” MTA President Max Page hold the Herald  Sunday.  “There’s a deadline for submitting proposals for 2024 ballot initiatives this August, and so we’ll be making our final decision whether to move forward on gathering signatures, which is the first big step.”

The union released results from a Echo Cove Research poll of 800 registered voters aged 21 and older at the end of June showing 73% support for eliminating the MCAS as a graduation requirement.

The union and many legislators would be joining the potential ballot initiative to remove the graduation requirements through the proposed Thrive ActThis bill has been introduced in both the House of Representatives and the Senate during the current session.

The poll found that 81% of respondents would support the Cherish Act, a ballot initiative aimed at establishing a debt-free higher educational system. Page said the proposal is “more important than ever” In the wake of Supreme Court decisions to eliminate federal student loan relief programs and affirmative actions.

The measure allows all Massachusetts high school graduates to attend state colleges and universities at no cost “that is affordable without going into debt.”

Page said that Page is evaluating how to implement the ballot questions.

The questions would need to be submitted in August, and must pass a review by the office of the Attorney General. Then, Massachusetts ballot initiatives require By mid-November, nearly 75,000 signatures will be collected.

“It’s just a lot of things that go into making a final decision, but we were very pleased about how much the public is with us on these key issues,” Page.

Massachusetts is among eight states which require standardized tests as part of the graduation requirements. The other seven are New York, Florida Illinois, Texas Louisiana Virginia and Wyoming.

Teachers’ unions have been around for a long time critical of the testIt is referred to as a “punitive” Students of color and students with IEPs are disproportionately affected by this standard.

“The graduation requirement has been in place now for 20 years, and it’s been proven to not narrow the gaps in terms of different demographic groups, classes and races,” Page. “And it has for everyone kind of narrowed the curriculum in our schools by focusing the attention on a few subject areas and not the full range of goals that we have for our school.”

During a WCVB broadcast on Sunday, Massachusetts Secretary Patrick Tutwiler answered a question about the future of this test. The state would like to move away from the current system. “close look” The graduation requirement is not a problem, but insisting upon it “assessment does matter.”

“I deeply believe that every student is capable of passing MCAS,” Tutwiler said. “You shouldn’t be an educator or person who works in the space of education if you don’t believe that every student is capable of getting over that hump. But sometimes the hump is wrong, and you need to take a look at it to decide what changes need to be made.”

Tutwiler stated the requirement “absolutely” Could change but he “wouldn’t say soon.”

Patrick Tutwiler has been appointed secretary of education by Gov.-Elect Maura Healey. (Courtesy Photo/Marilyn Humphries)
Patrick Tutwiler, Education Secretary