Massachuetts Teacher Association Statement

Massachuetts Teacher Association

B-23 Openness in Testing
The Massachusetts Teachers Association supports the right of students and/or their parents, where the law applies, to examine tests that the students have taken and their corrected responses.
The MTA believes that this right applies to any test administered in public and private schools in Massachusetts, including state-mandated tests, such as prospective teacher tests, and those tests used as a basis for high school graduation, and/or admission to college or professional school. (80, 83, 88, 00)

B-30 Standardized Testing of Students
The Massachusetts Teachers Association believes that the primary purpose of standardized tests should be to improve the quality of education and instruction for students. Standardized tests are most useful when selected or developed by educational professionals closest to the classroom and integrated with assessment information specific to district programs.
The MTA urges locals to advocate developmentally appropriate assessment techniques that are bias-free, reliable and valid.
The MTA also believes when a test is mandated at the state or national levels it should only be used to evaluate programs toward meeting state or national standards and/or goals. The MTA opposes any use of standardized tests when scores are: used as criteria for the reduction or withholding of any educational funding;

  • used as criteria for the reduction or withholding of any educational funding;
  • used inappropriately to compare students, educators, programs, schools and communities;
  • used as a single criterion for high-stakes decision-making;
  • used inappropriately to evaluate teachers;
  • used to design programs for "teaching to the test" rather than to the content measured by the test.

The MTA further believes the administration of a standardized test includes the responsibility to educate the stakeholders in the purpose of the test, the meaning of test results and the accurate interpretation of conclusions, while providing the protection of the privacy rights of the students and educators. (99)