Testing waivers taken away from Ed Dept officials for 2020-21

Jim Blew, assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Education, recently suggested states should not expect standardized testing waivers for the 2020-21 school year, Chalkbeat reports. Waivers from state testing requirements were previously offered during the spring due to coronavirus-related school closures. Merrie Najimy, president of the Massachusetts Teachers Association, argues, however, that standardized testing in the upcoming school year will pull teachers away from providing for students' social-emotional needs, which have been emphasized during the closures. The sentiment is echoed by education leaders in other states who say the tests would take time and money from helping students heal and catch up on learning. Those who support reinstating standardized testing this year say assessments are critical to understand expanded inequities and where students stand after remote learning, arguing the data can inform policy decisions, guide teachers in their instruction, and help parents understand their children's performance.

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