Friday, September 3, 2010

Federal Grant Spells More Bad News for MCAS

The Boston Globe is reporting today that Massachusetts will share a $170 million federal grant with 24 other states and Washington, D.C. Although the purpose of the grant is to help pay for the development of a new standardized testing system for students, the Patrick-Murray Administration is still claiming the MCAS is not in jeopardy.

“It doesn’t mean the end of MCAS,” Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester told the Globe. “It could supplement it …”

Pardon us for being skeptical, but when it comes to education policy, the Patrick-Murray Administration tends to publicly say one thing and end up doing another. Just look at the Gloucester charter school debacle, which showed the corner office is more interested in following the politically-expedient path than doing what’s best for the students of Massachusetts.

The Globe noted that any move to drop the MCAS and adopt the new testing system would have to be approved by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. Considering this is the same board that two months ago unanimously approved the adoption of the federal Common Core curriculum standards – the very same standards on which the new tests will be based – it’s easy to connect the dots and realize that the MCAS’ days are numbered.