NATP is helping testing coordinators monitor the education and assessment landscape for changes that may affect testing. The ongoing affects of the COVID pandemic have significantly impacted school re-openings and raised questions about next steps. Some parents who continue to have safety concerns have opted for charter schools, others homeschooling, others still have requested or opted for remote learning. Additionally, states across the nation continue to battle mask mandates, for and against.
Now, reports are being received about teacher and staff shortages due to illness and other pandemic related reasons. Whether teachers are retiring or falling victim to illness, testing coordinators are hearing more about staff shortages. These shortages, as well as the previously mentioned challenges, will each affect the testing environment and experience.
Here’s how it could affect the testing scene and why it is important to stay informed:
- Staff shortages
- teachers – less instruction, fewer test administrators, small groups, oral administration, monitors
- substitutes – additional training, schedule shifts, risk of test irregularities
- bus drivers – transportation for students testing late due to expanded schedules or accommodations
- warehouse workers – delayed receipt and distribution of materials
- Increase homeschool/charter school = decreased public school enrollment
- test counts
- offer/administer tests
- Remote learning = remote testing option
- local policy will be required
- capability – devices, infrastructure, connectivity
- capacity – manpower
- confidentiality – test item protection
- security – monitoring for cheating
- validity – getting help with test
- FERPA – student protection policy
- Mask mandates
- students with disabilities
- parent opt outs
- increased student absence due to illness – makeup testing required
- increased staff absence due to illness – less staff to assist with testing
- School staff shortages
- Are Schools Facing A Mounting Teacher Shortage? North Carolina administrators ay hiring has been atypical.
- The pandemic’s toll on educators has made Texas’ teacher shortage worse.
- Substitute shortages so severe, some districts may have to temporarily close classrooms.
- Districts nationwide are experiencing a shortage of special education and substitute teachers.
- St. Louis area schools face uphill battle with ongoing staffing and supply shortages, due to teacher retirement, bus driver, warehouse workers call ins.
- Can districts innovate? The case of the SCHOOL BUS DRIVER SHORTAGE
- In its first week of the academic year, the New York City Department of Education, which is the country’s largest school system, reported 976 positive COVID-19 cases, leading to 445 classroom closures in traditional public schools and 73 closures in charter schools between Sept. 13-19.
- Staffing shortage delays ambitious program to extend school day and year in California.