Questions about Yesterday’s Release of Next-Generation MCAS Results

Statement from Citizens for Public Schools/Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance regarding today’s release of next-generation MCAS results:

(Courtesy of timlewisnm/Flickr)

(Courtesy of timlewisnm/Flickr)


Results from the next-generation MCAS exam show that, in most grades and subjects, more than half of Massachusetts students scored below the new “meeting expectations” level.  The likely result of this will be more pressure to focus narrowly on increasing test scores, which will further narrow our curriculum and harm our students.

These results raise important questions that we hope will be asked and answered in the coming days and weeks:

1) A 2015 Mathematica study commissioned by Secretary James Peyser showed that neither the legacy MCAS nor PARCC measured college readiness accurately (scores accounted for only 5% to 18% of the variation in first-year college grades). Why should we expect that this new test will get any more accurate results?

2) DESE reports that Massachusetts students are first in the nation and perform at world-class levels based on a number of measures.

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Sign CPS Petition to Stop History MCAS

Dear Governor Patrick and Secretary Reville,

As concerned parents, teachers, students and other members of the community, we the undersigned ask that you reconsider implementing the Social Studies MCAS graduation requirement recently endorsed by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Since the state education budget is being cut, the $ 2.5 million per year or more that it would cost to administer a Social Studies MCAS will have to come from something else. What does the state plan to cut in order to administer this test? The money should instead be allocated to serve real educational needs, such as well-trained and supported teachers and staff, up-to-date textbooks, libraries, well-maintained buildings and classrooms, and much more. What students do not need is one more standardized test.

We believe that the close vote on the Board, as well as the worsening budget crisis that compels us to make wise choices with scarce education dollars, strengthens our request that you overturn the decision to impose yet another test-based graduation requirement on our children.   → Read More

Conference Honoring Darwin | Nov. 20, 2009

On Friday, November 20, 2009, a conference for scientists and science teachers will be held in Cambridge, MA, at the Whitehead Institute, honoring the 150th Anniversary of the publication of Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species.”

A morning session for the MIT community will feature lectures by some of the foremost experts in the evolution of the vertebrate eye and vision science (8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.).

A special two-hour afternoon session beginning at 4:15 p.m. will be geared towards high school biology teachers, with the opportunity to hear from the same experts who lectured in the morning, including Darwin scholar John Durant, director of the MIT Museum; Dr. Graeme Wistow, section chief on Molecular Structure and Function at the National Eye Institute; Prof. Nancy Kanwisher, investigator at MIT’s McGovern Institute for Brain Research; and Prof. Constance Cepko, a Harvard Medical School geneticist.

After the afternoon talks, breakout sessions will allow teachers to explore specific topics in small groups with the scientists.   → Read More

Children Left Behind screening a success

An overflow crowd filled a Coolidge Corner theater to see Prof. Louis Kruger's film, "Children Left Behind."

CPS members and friends filled a Coolidge Corner theater to watch Louis Kruger's moving film, Children Left Behind.

Thanks to everyone who came to see Louis Kruger’s film at the Coolidge Corner Theatre Sept. 30. Let’s keep all that energy going and bring it to the conference October 17!   → Read More

CPS Presents “Educating the Whole Student” | Oct. 17, 2009

Whole Child Conference

Whole Child Conference - October 17, 2009

Citizens for Public Schools is proud to present a conference for parents, students, community leaders, educators, activists, advocates, policy makers, and anyone interested in the education and welfare of our children. REGISTER NOW: IT’S NOT TOO LATE!

Date: Saturday, October 17, 2009
Location: Bunker Hill Community College
250 New Rutherford Ave., Boston, MA 02129.
Time: 10am-2pm (Registration opens at 9am) in Lecture Hall C202. Complete directions and parking information are here. Note: Due to construction on Rutherford Ave., enter parking lots via Austin St., opposite the 99 Restaurant.
Cost: $25 registration fee before October 12   *$12 students & seniors

Morning refreshments and lunch will be provided for Conference Registrants

Also Featuring: Keynote speaker Deborah Meier and Dr. Louis Kruger’s insightful documentary about the failings of the MCAS, which will be screened before and after the conference.

Registration: Please click the Donate Now button below and select “October 17 Conference” to register for the conference.

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