New polls finds strong support in Mass. for U.S. history MCAS requirement

BOSTON — A new poll finds 62% of Massachusetts residents support a U.S. History MCAS test as a graduation requirement. That’s according to the Pioneer Institute which conducted the survey along with Emerson College Polling Center.

The Pioneer Institute says the U.S. History MCAS has been required since an education reform bill by signed by Governor Bill Weld in 1993, but never implemented.

MCAS test scores from the last school year revealed students are still struggling to make up for lost classroom time during COVID-19 closures.

Boston 25 News Anchor Kerry Kavanaugh asked the Pioneer Institute if now would be a good time to implement another standardized test.

“I think it’s a fair question,” said Jamie Gass, Education Policy Director at the Pioneer Institute. “I think one of the things that we are mindful of is the U.S. History MCAS is in the {19}93 law. It’s something that is important to the cohesion of our democracy. We’re seeing how politicized and divided the state and country often is.”

We reached out to the Department of Elementary and secondary education about the poll findings. DESE says they are working on a pilot program for an eighth-grade civics test.

Under state law, studying American History and civics is a graduation requirement, even without an MCAS test.

The Pioneer Institute’s full poll results will be released on Wednesday.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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