Waive federal testing mandates for NY students
Dear Secretary DeVos:
The entire nation is living through a difficult public health crisis. Every aspect of our daily lives has changed. New York State has closed schools for at least two weeks which will run up against the testing window for the federally mandated grades 3-8 ELA tests. Given the spread of the COVID-19, it is likely the current closings will be extended beyond the testing window for ELA and into the testing window for math.
School districts and teachers are working to maintain continuity of instruction during the closing. However, ensuring equity of instruction across a state as diverse and as large as ours is nearly impossible under these challenging circumstances. It would be unfathomable to expect students in grades 3-8 who are living through such stressful times to take a test upon returning to school.
Even if schools do re-open in several weeks, students would have dramatically less preparation time for the tests, putting them at a significant disadvantage and radically skewing the results. Even worse, considering the pervasive unease and uncertainty that this global pandemic has created, it simply isn't fair or prudent to create more stress and anxiety for our students. Our most vulnerable students will be particularly disadvantaged by having to take the tests after a significant school closure.
We are urging you to cancel this year's tests to ensure no student or school is punished for the results of tests taken during this unprecedented pandemic. It is time to allow the schools to focus on students social, emotional, and physical well-being instead of focusing on taking a standardized test.
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