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MCAS is a distraction we don’t need this year

Principal Sebastian LaGambina walks down a hallway in Somerville's new high school.
Principal Sebastian LaGambina walks down a hallway in Somerville's new high school.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

Re “Official proposes MCAS waiver: Class of 2022 would not need to pass state test” (Metro, April 2): Delaying the MCAS and permitting students to take the exam from home does not address the real problem. There is remarkable alignment among teachers, unions, superintendents, and school committees that the test would cause more harm than good.

As a parent of kids in elementary school and middle school, I have been witnessing firsthand how teachers and schools have adapted to teaching in a year of a pandemic and have developed assessment techniques that meet the moment. There is a wide range in how schools have implemented remote and in-person learning this year, and accompanying learning deficits will also vary. MCAS will not provide meaningful information, and scores will not be available in time.


Teachers and school leaders are best positioned to prioritize efforts next fall to compensate for the past year’s challenges based on assessments at the individual level. Preparing for the MCAS will only serve as a distraction, unnecessarily consuming administration and classroom hours.

Many school committees are in consensus on this, including Arlington, Brookline, Cambridge, Concord, Malden, Medford, Melrose, Somerville, and Winchester. The Baker administration needs to join other states in seeking a waiver from the US Department of Education and cancel the test altogether for this school year.

Jeffrey L. Rosenblum