CPS Report: MCAS is the Wrong Answer

The Massachusetts Education Reform Act of 1993 (MERA) substantially increased state financial contributions to public education in exchange for increased state control. It brought a narrow student assessment system based upon a single set of standardized tests. The tests were used as the foundation of an accountability system for evaluating students, schools and districts.

In the years since, the Massachusetts’ accountability system has been hailed a success. But are the claims valid? Our comprehensive review of a wide array of evidence shows that the MCAS has failed to advance equity and racial justice in our public schools, and instead has been associated with several major disadvantages for historically underserved groups. This issue has particular urgency because of the potential of the COVID-19 pandemic to further exacerbate inequities that already exist in our state’s public education system.

Our conclusions and the evidence for them can be found in our new report, MCAS is the Wrong Answer: Six Ways High-Stakes Testing Has Failed Students and What to Do Now.

Download and read it here. And see our two-page fact sheet based on the report here.