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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

MCAS 2.0: The Possibilities

Now that Massachusetts has decided to move forward with MCAS 2.0 what will that mean for the State's learners?

MCAS 2.0 has the potential to lead the State forward with a positive education for all in the following ways.
  • The test could break down the walls of grade level schools and move towards learning competencies and progressions so that children learn in ways that are more natural to their developmental growth.
  • The test will take advantage of technology and hopefully promote, sooner than later, inclusion of a high quality tech tool(s) for every child in the state. I imagine that this will result in a test that asks students to navigate multiple online platforms as one way to access and synthesize information. 
  • The test may promote greater hands on exploration and STEAM study.
  • Perhaps the test will promote greater "learning to learn" behaviors and attitudes.
  • Will the test acknowledge the need to risk and make mistakes as a learner?
  • The test, I suspect, will continue to promote the fact that students need a strong knowledge, concept, and skill foundation in order to learn more. 
  • Will the test acknowledge the growing need for coding, computational thinking, and systems think and work? 
  • How will the test support the need to build strong, empathetic, and culturally proficient communities too?
  • In what ways will the test promote learning-to-learn growth mindsets and behaviors?
We tend to teach what is tested, and in this regard, a test can serve as a goal post of quality teaching and learning if it supports good learning and teaching which I believe is a holistic approach to student success.