Today was the first day of disruptive MCAS testing. One of my sections of college-prep Algebra II was wiped out, the other was barely affected. There will be a repeat performance on Thursday. Somehow this is supposed to improve education, even though it takes away from learning time and increases student anxiety.
Yesterday I saw a young girl in my office who had very bad tummy aches… Chatting with this young, pleasant child and her mom I learned she’s in third grade in a town near mine and facing the dreaded MCAS testing today — our State’s standardized testing that starts in third grade and goes all the way through tenth. Out of the blue she said, “I’m scared of the MCAS — my teachers told me that the graders are tough and we have to watch how we answer the written answer.”
Now I had my answer. This young girl had what I have come to call “MCASitis”…a form of performance anxiety brought on every Spring here in Massachusetts. You likely have a similar form in your State.
Test taking anxiety is truly real, even for young kids. And, with anxiety can come physical symptoms such as stomach aches.
But of course it’s supposed to ensure that no child is left behind.