Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky 2021-02-23 06:26:21 –
The Ministry of Education said on Monday that it would not allow the state to abandon federal-required standardized tests at schools this year, but would give it the flexibility to delay or hold tests online during a pandemic.
The Biden administration said the state would have to continue its annual trials, aiming for a midpoint in the polarized debate, but could apply for an exemption from certain accountability measures related to the results.
States are also allowed to move tests in the summer or fall, or they can offer shortened tests or online ratings.
In a letter to the Secretary of Education on Monday, Deputy Secretary of Education Ian Rosenberg said the test would help schools understand the effects of pandemics and how to help students.
“In addition, parents need information about their children’s behavior,” he said.
The move is in line with a suggestion from Democrats that they are pushing for tests to identify and address learning recessions, but that schools should not be punished for failing to reach their goals. I will. But it was blown up by Republicans and some teachers’ unions.
The American Teachers Union, one of the major teachers’ unions in the United States, called it a “frustrating turn.” The union’s chairman, Randi Weingarten, said federal exams should have been canceled and replaced by locally produced assessments.
“We always know that standardized tests are not the best way to measure a child’s development, especially to help the child or teach best practices in education and learning.” Weingarten said. “This is especially true in these unprecedented times.”
States, including New York and Michigan, have previously stated they would apply for an exemption from this year’s exam, and several other states have indicated plans to comply. Republicans in parliament also opposed the test, calling for a full exemption from all states.
Federal law requires states to test students annually in subjects such as math and reading as a way to measure school progress and identify learning gaps between different groups of students.
The Trump administration last year allowed all states to abandon the exam, but then Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos rejected the call to issue another comprehensive exemption this year.
In a September letter to the state superintendent, DeVos said parents deserve to know their children’s performance, even during a pandemic. If the test fails, she writes, “the effect will last for years to come.”
However, other Republicans have questioned the need for this year’s testing. In a hearing with Miguel Cardona this month, Senator Richard Barr (RN.C.), a candidate for President Joe Biden’s Secretary of Education, urged opposition to the assessment.
Burr asked for a conversation to consider “whether accountability and testing requirements need to be suspended for another year when working on a pandemic.”
Cardona argued that without testing, it would be difficult for schools to know where to focus to help students recover. However, he also opposed the “one size for all” solution and seemed to support flexibility.
“I don’t think it’s necessary to bring students just to test them on a standardized test,” Cardona said.
The Biden administration’s new guidance states that it will require some form of testing, but can apply for an exemption from the federal government’s required test-related accountability measures.
For example, test results are not used to measure progress towards long-term goals, nor are they used to identify schools that are struggling. We also waive the requirement to test at least 95% of students.
The state must publicly share a school report card showing student performance at the state and local levels, along with a breakdown by race and other student characteristics.
As a “condition” for flexibility, schools need to report new data showing how many students are continuously absent, as well as other data about computer and home Internet access. I will.
Virginia Foxx, a Republican ranking in the House of Education, has accused the Biden administration of providing flexibility “in exchange for the state accepting new irrelevant requirements.” She urged Biden to take stronger action to reopen school.
“Families are demanding it, and students desperately need it,” Foxx said in a statement. “And if we need to be flexible with federal requirements, I call on the President to offer them without the conditions required by law.”
In a letter on Monday, the administration said it would work with states that may require “additional evaluation flexibility” based on local conditions.
“Sure, we believe that if there are places where students can’t safely go to school because of a pandemic, we have to take them to the school building just to take the test,” the letter said. I will.