Students protest MCAS exams outside Hingham High School

Sophomore Katherine Peirce (right) organized a student walk-out to protest MCAS testing.

June 8, 2023 By Carol Britton Meyer

Sophomore Katie Peirce and about 15 to 20 fellow classmates protested against the MCAS exams outside Hingham High School Tuesday morning.

For their 10th-grade civics project, the sophomore class chose “Abolish MCAS” as their topic. Katie and some of her fellow students founded the group.

“Everyone from students to teachers who passed by [the protest] had the same response — they all agreed and told us that we have their support,” Katie told the Hingham Anchor.

“We believe in this protest because we feel that MCAS is not a necessary test,” she said. “While Hingham students typically have excellent results, other schools are not given the same opportunity [that we have]. The main goal of the protest was to get this message across.”

Hingham High School students organized a protest standardizing testing before school on a day they were taking the MCAS.

MCAS is a statewide testing program that measures students’ progress toward the learning standards set forth in the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks in order to improve accountability and school performance.

According to Katie, most HHS students agree that MCAS “should not exist because it cannot be used in the college admissions process and takes learning days away. While we understand that MCAS is a way to track educators, we find it unfair to students,” she said.

Overall, the protest was a success, “and the people passing by understood our message,” she said.

While the group has not talked directly with HHS administrators to share their concerns about MCAS, Principal Rick Swanson was aware of the protest ahead of time, Katie said.

“All public schools should seek to foster and promote civic engagement among their students,” Swanson told the Hingham Anchor. “As long as our students don’t disrupt the educational process, we respect their right to assemble and to express their views.”

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