Teachers, parents, students, and education researchers are asking the U.S. Department of Education to reconsider the decision to require federally mandated standardized tests this year.
They say students are navigating the most difficult year of learning in modern history, and the last thing they need is to be forced to take a stressful test that will not be an effective measure of their needs and accomplishments.
“Standardized state tests could threaten the precious instructional time we have been fighting for,” NEA President Becky Pringle says. “We need the U.S. Department of Education and states to grant relief from state standardized tests this year.”
Sign an open letter to the U.S. Department of Education, and join your colleagues in calling for high stakes tests to be canceled during the pandemic.
CEA President Jeff Leake says that scores on state tests during the pandemic would not be reliable, and any decisions made based on this unreliable data would likely be flawed. “In addition, there is a dire mental health crisis afflicting our youth. Anxiety, trauma, food insecurity, and substance abuse are pre-existing conditions exacerbated by the pandemic. Testing will only compound the high levels of stress teachers and children are currently experiencing.”
In order to administer testing this year, states are considering measures such as forcing students into school buildings for the sole purpose of test taking and making students learning remotely take tests at home via virtual proctoring.
More than 540 members of the academic research community wrote a letter to U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona saying, “Standardized tests also have a long history of causing harm and denying opportunity to low-income students and students of color, and without immediate action they threaten to cause more harm now than ever.”
Make your voice heard. Sign the open letter and call for the cancelation of high stakes state tests.