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State looks to put MCAS back on track in pandemic – Boston News, Weather, Sports – Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts 2020-11-24 17:45:04 –

State officials are exploring the possibility of conducting some MCAS tests in a take-out format in the spring, and are considering test options scheduled for this winter, said Jeff Riley, a primary and secondary education commissioner. He said on Tuesday.

After a sudden shift to distance learning in March as Massachusetts schools began to see an increase in COVID-19 cases first, education authorities allowed federal exemptions and legislative approval to cancel the MCAS test this spring. I asked for and received it. The state is currently working on a second surge in COVID-19 cases, and two months after the new semester, most schools have not returned to full face-to-face learning.

Due to the turmoil faced by students, some legislators and teachers’ unions have called for another year to skip evaluations, but the Baker administration’s education authorities measure the pandemic impact of tests on student learning. It states that it is an important tool for doing so. The administration also requires schools to resume at least some face-to-face instruction and use the fully remote model only as a last resort.

“The bottom line is that both now and in preparation for the New Year, we need to double our efforts to reopen classrooms for face-to-face learning,” Secretary of Education James Paiser told the Elementary and Secondary Education Commission on Tuesday. .. “At the same time, we need to continue the course of managing state-wide assessments next spring to ensure accurate, timely and actionable diagnostic data on student learning and loss of learning during this unprecedented school year. there is.”

Riley will give the superintendent the MCAS test earlier this fall, and federal guidance said, “The test went according to plan and a full exemption should not be expected this year.” Said said.

“Of course, this could change with the switch to the next administration,” he said.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will coordinate this year’s exam schedule with English and math MCAS exams for high school students in January and May. Tests for grades 3-8 students are scheduled for April and May.

“As we’ve seen over the past few weeks, when we think about winter testing, we recognize that the number of students, schools and districts affected by COVID is increasing,” Riley said. “We are still investigating the options available for testing in the winter. We will not announce any changes today for the tests scheduled for January-March, but be careful about the situation. Monitor and quickly determine if your testing approach has changed. “

Regarding the spring test, Riley said the department is considering several take-out test possibilities, “may be available in certain limited cases-I would like to emphasize.”

The department is also considering “how individual students can reduce the burden on students and schools in terms of the time they spend on exams,” he said.

During the Board’s public comment, Springfield Science and Technology High School graduate coach Christine Spellman said the test schedule was “a logistic nightmare for a completely remote school.”

Spellman said he does not know when the school will resume face-to-face instruction, students working full-time to support their families, students caring for younger siblings, and students dealing with mental health problems. Said that he was having a hard time connecting with students suffering from homelessness. Food insecurity.

She asked for an exemption in January or postponed the test until all schools were able to return students to the classroom once the new Biden administration was inaugurated.

“Don’t add any more stress or inequality to our city,” she said.

Board member Matt Hills said he appreciates the state’s consideration of proceeding with the MCAS test.

“Going into the second year without using a common assessment will cause major problems with the educational system we have introduced,” said Hills, a former member of the Newton School Commission. “You have districts that want to manage their area. They have area management. Some districts are doing things in one direction this year, while others are doing it the other way around. There are also districts that do it differently for the wrong reasons. Unless we look for it using a single common assessment, we know and understand what the difference is in our educational background. I’m not going to do it. “

Billerica Memorial High School student Jasper Kofflin, a freshman representative of the state board of education, agreed that MCAS is an important metric, but said he cautioned against this year’s test.

“This year’s students want to emphasize the fact that they are less prepared to take MCAS than ever before, so when talking about MCAS as a graduation requirement, I think that’s what you really have to embrace. Consideration, “he said.

(Copyright (c) 2020 State Capitol News Agency.

State looks to put MCAS back on track in pandemic – Boston News, Weather, Sports Source link State looks to put MCAS back on track in pandemic – Boston News, Weather, Sports

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