BOSTON (SHNS) – Gov. Maura Healey said Tuesday that “it’s time” to evaluate possible changes to the state’s MCAS standardized exams, but she stopped short of weighing in on the use of the tests as a high school graduation requirement.
The Massachusetts Teachers Association is putting its weight behind a potential 2024 ballot question that would decouple MCAS exams from the steps a student must take to obtain a high school diploma.
Asked during an appearance on WGBH’s “Boston Public Radio” for her thoughts on the proposal, Healey neither endorsed nor opposed it.
“When it comes to something like MCAS, I think what’s important here is that we have a test that actually works. It’s there as an assessment tool,” she said. “So I think it’s time, and I’ve charged my department with evaluating what it is we’re testing [and] are there changes that need to be made.”
The administration launched a request for proposals to consider changes in the next round of tests that account for different needs among some student groups, including English language learners, Healey said. She added that the MCAS graduation requirement is “something that we’re looking at.”
Co-host Jim Braude pressed Healey on whether she will remain undecided about the ballot question until her administration completes its review.
“There’s going to be a lot more to say about that. I’m just speaking where I come from as a matter of principle,” Healey replied. “MCAS is an assessment tool, which should be open to looking at what works and, you know, we need to identify who is not succeeding in the current rubric and what we need to do along with any changes to the existing test.”