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Education Week reports on Biden Education Team squashing States’ push to nix all tests but approves other flexibility. Highlights include the following:

  • Some States’ requests to cancel testing have been denied (Georgia and South Carolina).
  • Oregon‘s plan to replace year-end test with the results of a survey designed to measure factors like access to educational resources, that can affect students’ learning will be denied.
  • Colorado’s request to reduce the number of its statewide tests was granted.
  • Georgia’s request to replace its statewide tests with local, formative assessments was denied.
  • Michigan’s similar request is pending.
  • Other states’ request for testing demographically representative samples of students have not yet been answered.
  • Requests from more than a dozen states to waive requirements that they ensure at least 95 percent of students are tested, and that they use resulting scores to identify low-performing schools have been granted.

The USDE continues to request that States should do their best to test as many students as possible with sound assessment measures and report participation. Their original guidance offering several assessment flexibilities stands. Flexibilities included shorter tests, remote testing, and extended testing windows as well as an encouragement for states to submit accountability waivers and the reduction of assessment stakes this year. Testing for purposes of informing instruction, continued reporting, ensuring test equity and allocation of resources remain priorities.

State will have to embrace innovation and resources to make it work! We can expect the discussion to continue.

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