Alexakis examines the issue of standardized testing in public education through the state of Massachusetts. The state's standardized program MCAS (Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System) was instituted in 2001, requiring that all 10th graders in the state's public schools must pass the test before they graduate. Alexakis finds that support and opposition for the MCAS are coming from unlikely areas. Most of the state's poorer under-funded school districts in urban areas are supporting the test, even though a number of its students are having trouble passing. Conversely many affluent school districts in suburban areas have began anti-MCAS movements. Despite the fact that the majority of their students are passing, these schools believe the MCAS is "diverting important resources and time from more advanced learning." Alexakis looks at both sides and find out why the opposition seems to be growing and how this debate may be indicative of the debate over national standardized testing.
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