The Class of 2003 will be the first that has to pass the MCAS exam in order to graduate in Massachusetts. In the results from last year's MCAS testing that were just released, the percentage of 10th graders failing math in Somerville, where I live, was 63, which is better than the statewide statewide failure rate (66%), which is better than the previous year's (73%). The proponents of the MCAS exam point to this improvement as evidence that high-stakes testing is working, and that we should "stay the course." (James Peyser is the Chairman of the Massachusetts Board of Education, David Driscoll is the Massachusetts Commissioner of Education, Jane Swift is the Lieutenant Governor, and Paul Cellucci is Governor. They are of one mind on this topic, although Peyser and Driscoll have had their differences in the past -- see cartoon from March 7, 1999.)
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