Biden administration wants standardized testing restarted, many virtual learning states to demand waiver

by Peter Heck · Feb 23rd, 2021 7:10 pm

Last Updated Feb 25th, 2021 at 8:20 am

As teachers unions around the country object to various state and local government plans to "return to school," the Biden administration has just issued an order that is unlikely to make them happy.

The U.S. Department of Education issued new guidance to states on Monday that they must restart standardized testing of their students this spring. Due to the coronavirus pandemic closures last spring, the country suspended standardized tests, something that several school districts anticipated would be the case again in 2021 given that so many are yet to return to in-person learning.

But the Biden administration's decision now leaves many districts scrambling to try to generate an effective way to conduct tests for millions of students who are still learning from home.

"The Department of Education is committed to supporting all states in assessing student learning during the pandemic to help target resources and support to the students with the greatest needs," said the department's acting assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education, Ian Rosenblum.

Several states say they are unprepared to restart testing, particularly under the high stakes formula that holds low-performing schools accountable.

California, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, and New York are all expected to request a waiver.


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