Boston, MA

Teachers’ union claims standardized tests help “white supremacy flourish”

Amy Christie

A teachers’ union in Massachusetts claims that all standardized tests have "allowed white supremacy to flourish." They would like to get rid of the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) as a graduation requirement for all students.

What are the details?

"The implementation of the MCAS and other standardized tests has had the exact opposite effect of what was supposed to occur when the system was introduced more than 20 years ago," MTA president Merrie Najimy stated, according to The Blaze.

The union believes it’s better to give students “multiple pathways” so they can show their educational competencies beyond the standard tests.

"Public schools in predominantly Black and brown communities have been taken over by state bureaucrats who have been using standardized testing as a tool not to improve opportunities for students, but instead as one to pry public education from the hands of the families and educators who know best what their students need,” Najimy explained.

Najimy and the Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA) have opposed the tests and called on their cancellation due to the pandemic.

"Once you get past this year, it's going to be a critical time to reimagine what could be, which means really thinking about bringing in more school quality measures and new ways to judge how our schools are doing," Najimy stated.

The basis for the criticism is that standardized testing is seen as biased against minorities and disadvantaged children.

“You have these third-party vendors creating these tests for school districts and states, and states are forced to implement them. So, it made a lot of people a lot of money. But then the charter school industry is also part of that money train as well because the tests have been weaponized against teachers and schools and teachers' unions,” Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) said.

There are others, however, who feel that standardized testing is a great tool for knowing where to improve educational opportunities for minority or other underserved students.

“The primary purpose of education reform in Massachusetts was and is equity. MCAS shines a light on how much students are learning. It highlights those Black, brown, and other students who are being failed by our education system. It calls attention to their challenges and provides a rationale for giving teachers the support they deserve to help their students meet high standards,” argued Professor Paul Reville.

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Amy Christie is a passionate writer and journalist, always striving to bring out the positive and create meaningful connections.

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