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Kids Protest Tax on Books

In Cambridge alone, about 100 students from the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School boycotted the test, according to reports in Education Week.

The tests, the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) exams, are to be administered each year to fourth, eighth, and 10th-graders. Starting in 2003, students will have to pass the tests in English and math in order to graduate.

Students have been in the forefront of the opposition to the MCAS tests. "We are not opposed to accountability at all, but under the state's education reform law there is supposed to be multiple forms of assessment," said 16-year-old Chris Carmody. "A teacher wouldn't take a single test and make it count for a whole semester. To take a test and make it count for 12 years of schooling seems absurd to me."

Two groups spearheading the protests are the Student Coalition for Alternatives to MCAS (www.scam-mcas.org) and the Coalition for Authentic Reform in Education (www.fairtest.org).

Summer 2000

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