Joint Statement Responding to MCAS Ballot Measure Certification


September 6, 2023

The following is a joint statement in response to the Attorney General’s decision to certify the ballot question that will eliminate MCAS as a high school graduation requirement from the following:

  • Edward M. Lambert Jr., Executive Director, Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education
  • Christopher Anderson, President, Massachusetts High Technology Council
  • Keri Rodrigues, President, National Parents Union, Massachusetts
  • James Stergios, Executive Director, Pioneer Institute
  • Mary Tamer, Executive Director, Massachusetts, Democrats for Education Reform
  • James E. Rooney, President & CEO, Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce
  • James Peyser, Fmr. Secretary of Education, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
  • Michael Contompasis, Superintendent (ret.), Boston Public Schools
  • Jon Hurst, President, Retailers Association of Massachusetts
  • Timothy P. Murray, President & CEO, Worcester Chamber of Commerce

“While we don’t believe the ballot question that would eliminate MCAS as a high school graduation requirement meets the legal requirements for certification, our growing coalition is prepared to fight this measure and is confident that with more information about the positive outcomes the requirement has produced for all students, voters will reject it.

“MCAS has proven to be a reliable indicator of a student’s college and career readiness and eliminating it as a graduation requirement would amount to a huge step backward in the Commonwealth’s quest to ensure that all Massachusetts high school graduates acquire a basic mastery of the subject areas needed to be successful in their futures.

“Importantly, requiring students to meet a state standard to graduate high school ensures that ALL districts are setting a minimum academic standard.  Eliminating the MCAS graduation requirement would leave us without a common, objective measure of achievement that all students, across all communities, are expected to meet.  In its place would be more than 300 local graduation standards.

“The MCAS exam is a vital component of the 1993 education reform law that catapulted our education system to first in the nation.  Passing either of these ballot questions would reverse three decades of progress for kids in every zip code, jeopardize the futures of Massachusetts high school graduates, endanger the state’s standing as a national leader in education, and put the state economy at a further competitive disadvantage.”