Polls: Public Skeptical of Tests

K-12 Testing

Independent polls recently conducted in Michigan and Massachusetts reveal substantial public skepticism about state exams.


Only 38% of respondents rated the Michigan Assessment of Educational Progress (MEAP) as “excellent” or “good,” while 57% rated it “fair” or “poor.” The MEAP tests have been administered since the early 1970s. The poll was commissioned by the Skillman Foundation of Detroit.


In Massachusetts, 47% of respondents to a Boston Globe/WBZ-TV poll said they opposed the graduation requirement that will be attached to the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) tests this spring, while 45% approved the plan. Test proponents claimed the data simply demonstrated that they needed to do a better job of educating the public about the tests. In fact, the state has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars promoting the exams, nearly all major elected officials support it, and most of the major newspapers regularly editorialize in favor of the graduation requirements. Clearly, the public still has not bought into this scheme.


• Boston Globe, 9/2/02, “MCAS divides voters, poll finds”


• Detroit News, 9/8/02, “Parents want state to mandate curriculum”