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If the MCAS Is So Good, Why Are We Ditching It?

The Massachusetts Board of Education decided last fall to create an MCAS/PARCC hybrid assessment unique to this state. Officials and educators are optimistic that by retaining control over the test, they will help preserve Massachusetts’s spot at the top of the U.S. educational pack.

Meanwhile, many parents and educators are hoping the state will take into consideration another important question: What is a good test? The state surely can’t devise a test students enjoy taking. But can it design one that, rather than dictating what students learn, captures what they know in a fair way?