Iowa Testing and the MCAS

Please explain to me why Massachusetts students not only have to take the Iowa Tests but also if in public schools have to do the MCAS as well?  Am I missing something?  Both are standardized tests designed to gauge both a student’s abilities and rank them against other students.  The only difference in my feeble mind is that Iowa ranks nationally, and MCAS for MA only?. But why couldn’t Massachusetts just use their students’ Iowa test scores?  I have a feeling MA spent a LOT  of money to merely “re-invent the wheel” and line someones pocket. . . . although I will say that its nice for my older daughter to have done well enough on her MCAS that she qualified for and received the John and Abigail Adams 4 yr tuition scholarship to attend WSU.

I remember taking the Iowa tests in school. The “bubbles” were always fun to color in, and I can’t really remember taking the tests very seriously at all.  These days, notes get sent home from school advising parents to make sure that their child gets enough sleep, eats a good breakfast and brings a good lunch to school during testing week.  Which, for my youngest starts tomorrow.  And as a side note –  isn’t it a parents job to make sure their child gets enough sleep and eats well EVERY day (not just during testing week)????  Just wondering, because I found it strange to get that note when its what I do every day; reminder not necessary.

Anyway, my younger girl is stressing about the dang tests, when she really has nothing to worry about. She’s bright and she’s beautiful.  And because she attends a Catholic school, won’t have to take the MCAS till she gets to High School.  We’re heading down the homestretch for the 2011/2012 school year already so high school for Miss Muffet will be here sooner than I think…..

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3 thoughts on “Iowa Testing and the MCAS

  1. This is LONG overdue and irrelevant by now. But I was the first class that they trialed the MCAS with in Mass. I believe it was in 5th grade when it started, and we had been taking the Iowa’s every year up until then. We were tested in three subjects: English, math, and science. We were told that anyone that scored advanced in every tested subject would get free tuition AND room and board at any Mass state school. By the time senior year came around, we were the first class for which these counted (meaning you couldn’t graduate unless you scored a certain level on the test). We still had the three subjects, but science did not “count.” AND they changed it last minute so that ONLY the valedictorian got tuition, room, and board, and the salutatorian got only tuition – and no one else got anything. I scored advanced on all three, and I was valedictorian. I applied to UMASS Amherst and was accepted to the Honors College, but I chose not to go there. (I also got so much “scholarship” that I would have had $5k in CASH after everything was paid.) I asked to transfer my scholarship to the salutatorian, who had chosen that same school as his first choice. I was told no. I wrote called and wrote to any number I could find that was affiliated with MA government and/or education, and I was (oftentimes rudely) always told no way. What a SHAME and what a disgrace. There’s no record when I search this of their broken promises. And I am still sick about giving up that money, that went RIGHT back into circulation, instead of being invested in a student who chose the very state that screwed him. This whole things sucks.

  2. I’m reposting this to Facebook in the hope that some of my homeschooling and/or Massachussetts-dwelling friends might have an answer for you. That does seem like overkill to me.

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