Funny how Google works, no? Four people were directed to my website for looking up "English MCAS tips," let's pity their souls. While I actually did take the MCAS (before it counted) and scored as high as you could get on English, sadly I don't have time to tutor anyone literally the day before they take the test. Try me a few months in advance, next time.
And let's all pause for a minute, here, because they started their exams today. My little brother nervously awaited waking up this morning for one of his first flings with the MCAS. He literally has English exams all week, from English composition (seriously, he's in the forth grade people, does he really need to know how to write a persuasive 5 paragraph essay?) to all sorts of other tests.
Unlike many progressive people, I'm not opposed to a test that's part of a graduation requirement. However, when there's a whole week of English tests - not to mention math, science and history - then we have a problem here. No wonder teachers are teaching to the test - how could students get over the pressure of weeks of examination? Even the brightest find the prospect daunting.
Well, most of them. When I was a Sophomore in High School, I took it as a way to have the entire mornings off. Maybe that's why I did so well? I took double the allotted time to take it (I really milked it out for all it was worth). Or, maybe because I was lucky enough to come from a strong middle-class background, in a town with a top-notch public education system... and with parents who always taught me to value education and supported me in whatever way I needed. Somehow, that seems like as strong a recipe for success as any - which is one reason why this breed of MCAS can never work as intended. Too many people in Massachusetts grow up without those natural advantages.