The Massachusetts Teachers Association, led by President Max Page, has launched a ballot initiative aimed at replacing the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System, or MCAS, as a high school graduation requirement. The proposal seeks to shift the focus from standardized testing to a certification process that ensures students meet high state standards in English, math and science.

“It replaces the MCAS graduation requirement with something focused on classroom learning taught by our professional educators,” said Page on Boston Public Radio on Monday.

While the initiative would remove the MCAS as a graduation requirement, it does not eliminate the test entirely. Federal law mandates the testing of students in grades 3-8 and in tenth grade.

“We will have the MCAS test every year going forward. But there is no requirement on the federal level to have a graduation requirement,” he said.

Currently, only eight states require a form of standardized testing as a graduation requirement. New York recently announced that under a new plan students will no longer have to pass the Regents exam to receive a diploma.

Page argued that the MCAS is merely a diagnostic tool rather than a comprehensive measure of academic achievement.

“We have academic standards,” he said. “Get rid of the single high stakes test and focus on the academic standards that educators evaluate every single day.”

Opponents, such as Gov. Maura Healey, show concern over the potential loss of uniform standards if the MCAS is removed as a graduation requirement.

“The uniformity comes from that we have academic standards that apply to every single city and town and every school,” Page countered.

“We have strong state standards. They anchor the curriculum that educators develop in every single city in town. And now we’re trying to reinforce that by saying cities and towns or schools will have to certify that students have met those state standards.”

Page also mentioned that around 700 students each year leave high school without a diploma, despite meeting all other requirements, because they did not pass Massachusetts’ mandatory standardized test.

“That number will rise as the cut scores for the MCAS rise. That’s 700 kids a year who’ve passed all their courses but missed one point or two points on some mixed tests. Why is that so important?” he said. “Focus back on actual learning in the classroom.”

Gigi Greene, a former student at Snowden International School who has actively protested against the MCAS, shared her experience on Boston Public Radio.

“The MCAS hijacked my education, especially in physics class, where it was all about test prep,” she said. “I left school without a diploma but succeeded in the International Baccalaureate program and am now heading to university in Ireland.”

Greene argued that real education extends beyond standardized tests.

“As it is right now, real education doesn’t necessarily happen at school. And the world needs innovators. We need creators. We need thinkers and philosophers, and we need people who can work with others. And that is not a skill that the MCAS teaches.”