SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Educators from across the state gathered in Springfield for a rally Friday evening.

The Massachusetts Teachers Association were calling for the passage of a couple of legislations, one of them, to remove the MCAS graduation requirement.

Professor and MSCA Member, Nicole Williams tells 22News, “My daughter actually just took her first MCAS, she is two years behind grade level and she told me when she came home that she left the test, left the bathroom and cried,” Williams says. “She came back, and wrote on all the responses ‘I can’t read this, I don’t know what to write, I am sorry.”

This is one of the reasons that brings Nicole Williams, a professor in higher education, and a mother, to rally across the state with other educators. She joins the Massachusetts Teachers Association, in Springfield, who are calling on the passage of legislations that they say would strengthen public education.

President of The Massachusetts Teachers Association, Max Page says, “Number one, debt free, high quality higher public education, it is ending the punitive nature of our high-stake that has been hurting kids for generations, its about making sure that our retired educators can live in dignity while in retirement.”

One of those legislations is a bill that would remove the MCAS graduation requirement and allow districts to create alternative assessment systems.

The Massachusetts Chapter of Democrats For Education Reform (DFER), says that MCAS should stay. “We believe MCAS is a tool for equity,” says Executive Director for DFER Massachusetts, Mary Tamer.

“While MCAS is not a perfect tool, and we’ve made recommendations on how to improve it, but we all acknowledge that this is one of the most critical things we can do understand exactly how are students are doing,” Tamer adds.

Tamer also tells 22News that their affiliate, with input from educators and parents, released a report on ways to improve the MCAS. One of those improvements, including educators of color in the development of the test, and allow for funding for translated tests in more languages.

That report, conducted by The Education Reform Now Massachusetts can be found here.