Tested to Despair

Stop high-stakes testing from destroying public education.

MCAS for all!

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Merkoline reports from Massachusetts

My typical students are teenagers with “challenging behavior” including autism. Most have other neurological or psychiatric diagnoses as well. For example, C is a non-verbal 12-year old, diagnosed with  Pervasive Developmental Disability (PDD) and anxiety disorder. During a bad spell, which might last for several weeks, without redirection he would spend most of his day pacing in circles, biting his own arms, or pounding the back of his neck. He can’t sit more than 30 seconds at a time, and might refuse to eat for days on end. C can be very aggressive toward staff. When things are going better, C can spend up to twenty minutes sitting and copying letters or tracing his name (with help). Because he is in a collaborative school for children with special needs that is public, he has to take the MCAS. What do you suppose that looks like?


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