Schools Should Not Be Required to Administer High Stakes Tests During Pandemic 1

Schools Should Not Be Required to Administer High Stakes Tests During Pandemic

ALBANY, N.Y. (February 23, 2021) — In response to the Biden administration’s announcement that states must administer federally required standardized tests this year, the Alliance for Quality Education issued the following statement.

“New York’s school districts do not have the capacity to administer federally mandated tests. Requiring states to administer these tests this year is a waste of time and resources.

“With public schools still grappling with how to address the ongoing challenges created by COVID-19, meeting a testing mandate would be an obstacle: the state must either choose to only test the small number of students who are learning in person, or introduce an online test, but many students still lack access to basic technology like WiFi or a device, and the integrity of testing students at home cannot be guaranteed. Both scenarios would produce skewed and inaccurate data that at best is meaningless and at worst will give us a false picture of student learning during the pandemic. The cost, both in dollars and in the energy and stress expended, is a terrible waste for school districts, students and families, who are rightfully prioritizing how to meet students’ basic needs amidst a crisis. Schools should be able to focus on healing and learning at this time, not on high stakes testing. School districts are capable of assessing students’ progress locally, and must be permitted to do so.

“We commend the New York State Board of Regents for its determination to cancel any testing that is not required by the USDE. The Board and SED must continue to push the cancellation of testing in any way possible.”