BOSTON (WWLP) – The Massachusetts Teachers Association has long opposed the MCAS exam.

The MTA is telling educators that they will support anyone who objects to giving out the exam and is also notifying parents on how they can opt their child out. The idea of the exam is to improve school performance and take note of achievement gaps.

However, objectors believe the test is causing unnecessary stress to students and is taking time away from teachers who are now having to teach for the test. In a Union newsletter, the MTA provided resources for educators who refuse to administer the tests and information on how to hold meetings to opt out of exams.

The MTA said in a recommendation sheet that anyone who plans to refuse to administer the test will be provided an attorney if they are fired or suspended.

The MTA Vice President Deb McCarthy said she has heard from teachers about objecting to distributing the test. “This is a conversation that is taking place across the Commonwealth and I think what you’re seeing with educators stepping up, is that they know that we need to be doing better and that they don’t want to be complicit in a system that’s causing harm.”

The Union is also encouraging teachers to lobby for the Thrive Act. That bill would do away with the MCAS requirement for graduation. Massachusetts is one of eight states that requires passing a standardized test to graduate.