Stop the Maryland State Assessment sign now


The Maryland State Assessments serve little purpose and are a burden to students and teachers alike.

The Maryland State Assessments take place in the spring every year in elementary and middle schools throughout the state. The tests include a Reading/ English language arts section and a mathematics section. The tests usually take place over one or two weeks, with two to three hour blocks of testing taking place daily. These tests were originally designed as evaluations of the schools, meant to determine if students are learning what they are supposed to be. Now, the MSAs are also used for student placement; students are even kept back a year for doing poorly on the test.

Since the MSAs are so important, class time is used routinely for MSA preparation. These preparations are made in all classes, even though the MSAs only test reading and mathematics. Furthermore, the MSAs do not test the objectives of the English and math classes, only an outline of the curriculum. Teachers are often so focused on preparing their students for the MSA that they neglect actually teaching the class, and instead design assignments to accustom their students to format of the MSAs. And they have good reason to. As mentioned above, students may be kept back a year for doing poorly on the MSAs. So, instead of the test being tailored to the classes, the classes are tailored to the test.

Every year students are traumatized by the upcoming test. Their teachers repeated tell them how important the test is. To the students, the test begins to seem like a measure of whether they are smart enough. As the test draws nearer, it is just about all they hear about. They have to do their best. They have to be ready. They have to do well. Etc. They cant think about anything else.

The MSAs were designed as part of President Bushs No Child Left Behind act. The MSAs do not, however, ensure better education. They merely ensure better MSA scores. If the MSAs are meant to improve education, then why is so much learning time being taken away for the MSAs. Every year, two weeks are lost taking the test, plus a countless amount of class time preparing for the MSAs.

The MSAs must be abandoned, for the sake of Americas education.

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Rosario MooneyBy:
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The Maryland School Board

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