June 14, 2018

MAE’s Helmick issues statement on testing decision

JACKSON, MS. –  Joyce Helmick, President of the Mississippi Association of Educators, issued the following statement on today’s Mississippi Department of Education decision regarding state testing:

The Mississippi Association of Educators believes the Mississippi Department of Education has taken a step in the right direction in their decision to eliminate the policy that would have meant state tests would account for a quarter of a student’s grade.

We do not believe that a grade on a standardized test should ever be considered as one-fourth of a student’s grade point average. This practice in our public schools would have affected not only students’ GPAs, but also in some cases their ability to graduate with their classes. And, unfortunately, it could have a detrimental effect on students’ mental health and well-being.

While we are pleased with this decision, the over-testing of our students is still a very troubling reality.  We seek to have this policy revisited, which is why we are grateful to have the opportunity to represent educators on the State Testing Task Force. During the June 19th meeting, we will present real-world stories that were submitted by Mississippi educators on the impact of standardized testing on our students.

We are happy that the voices of students, educators, and parents were heard; and we look forward to working to improve the educational system for our young people.