Should Sophomores be Required to Pass MCAS This Year?


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Alyssa Thompson, Writer

In the middle of the pandemic last spring, students were learning remotely, forcing Massachusetts schools to cancel MCAS. This spring, schools are back to their full capacity, five days a week. Therefore, students are prepared for MCAS. Right?

According to a group of Pentucket sophomores, they are feeling stressed about having to pass MCAS after barely learning the full ninth and tenth grade curriculums. Many of them feel behind in school and not prepared for the standardized tests. 

Sophomore Lia Goodwin said, “It is harder to learn and remember when you constantly have days off.” 

For students this year, there has not been a consistent schedule, as they were home three days a week and at school for two. This put a major barrier in front of them and their abilities to learn.

Katie Drislane shared her feelings on school this year and stated, “I feel as though I am not absorbing any information, rather just learning it to get an assignment done.”  

Other students feel like they haven’t learned enough this year to be tested. 

For example, Reese Gallant explained, “We didn’t receive a full curriculum this year, and it was very minimal.” 

Trevor Kamuda agreed with Gallant and said, “Some topics take longer to understand, and I feel like with in-person I would have a greater understanding of things.”

For others, stress is a big factor as to why sophomores should not be required to pass MCAS this year. Between the transition from hybrid learning to full time learning, as well as more work being piled on, students are frantically trying to adjust to the changes before the end of fourth quarter. 

Lia Alsup said, “We already have enough stress with going back full time and adjusting to everything else this year; it just feels unnecessary.” 

MCAS will just be adding to the stress and fatigue students have been facing this year. It doesn’t seem fair for sophomores to have to pass this year for many reasons: the minimal curriculum, overabundant time at home, and short attention spans call for low scores and disappointed students.  

In spite of all of the hardships students have faced this year, it is hoped that sophomores persevere and give it their all to pass MCAS.