Nov
21
2009

The Answers to the MCA @___@

Declared by the "The No Child Left Behind Program" (NCLBP) and the State of Minnesota, science is an important subject and required for student's after the graduating class of 2011 to pass in order to graduate. The first MCA Science test was handed out last year to students in 6th and 8th grade, since it was their first year testing students on Science the scores has not yet been posted.
In the past, there were different types of MCA's passed out to student's, there was the MCA 1 and the MCA 2 and there is a plan for an MCA 3 in the year of 2014. With each different tests, it gets more and more rigorous, but the question is why? For each tests the standards have changed ( if you want to check out the standard for science in the MCA check out this link http://education.state.mn.us/MDE/Academic_Excellence/Academic_Standards/... and download Academic Standards: Science K-12 (2009)) in the past few years and the standards are changing to be a set higher than the years before. Could this be the reason why many students are not able to meet the standards for the MCA? The groups that tend to not meet the standards are special education and the limited English students, these groups will have a handicaps for the test. We also know that if any group of students who did not meet the standards the entire school suffers the consequences. The problem is not that these students will always fail but that the school should do is provide these students with resources that they need to help pass this test and especially Science. Science does not only consistences of just reading but also math and critical thinking, all of the students should also have the opportunity and resources to help pass these tests. What the N.C.L.B.P. should do is not place the entire school under academic probation but to step back and provide helpful resources to students who are willing to step up and take responsibility for themselves.
Every time I requested or asked for information about the standards from the years of 2004- present from those who worked for the MCA, my question was either avoided or never answered, I decided to interview people who works for the state, I asked Roger Anderson who worked for the Research and Assessment and a few other people who works or had information about the MCA and it's standards. I had sent my interview questions to all of them and never got a reply in return. I meet Ms. Wilson at school after she gave a power point presentation about the MCA and how Harding students did last year on the test. I was quite surprised to see the data and the dramatic change in the scores from the MCA 1 and MCA 2, compared to MCA 1, the MCA 2 was made more rigorous because of the scoring and the standards set higher than the MCA 1. In result with the changes in the different test more students had failed or did worse than the previous year.
I am almost positive that the MCA's for Science will also be following the same pattern where the standards will continue to get more and more rigorous as the years go by. I understand that it may not always be the tests fault that students fail, most of the time students are not prepared for the test because for two reasons. One they chose not to study or prepare for the test, or two the teachers did not teach the MCA requirements for the student's. With these constant changes in the MCA standards it has effected how the students perform on the tests and how the teachers teach their students. It is just as important that student's prepare themselves for the test just as that those who work for the MCA keep the standards the same. For more information go to education.state.mn.us/ about the MCA.

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