OPPONENTS STEADFAST IN CRITICISM OF HIGH STAKES STUDENT TESTS
By Katie Lannan
STATE HOUSE NEW SERVICE
STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, SEPT. 12, 2017....The state's standardized testing program, which has held up despite years of criticism, was in the crosshairs again on Tuesday as lawmakers heard testimony on bills that would temporarily halt the use of test scores in teacher evaluations and as graduation requirements.
Supporters and opponents offered their takes on bills sponsored by Sen. Michael Rush (S 308) and Rep. Marjorie Decker (H 2844) that would place a three-year moratorium on what critics call the "high stakes" nature of standardized tests. Backers said the pause would allow Massachusetts to reconsider its approach to testing and develop a better method of assessing students.
"I want to hold policymakers accountable for the 11 days of high-stakes testing that my students in fifth grade endure, for the six weeks that we stop teaching because our school becomes a warehouse for testing," Hull teacher Deb McCarthy told the committee. "And I want somebody to be held accountable for all the students on [individualized education programs] who are not serviced so that our special education personnel can be deployed to proctor a test."
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