Educators respond to Federal decision to require state standardized exams

Classroom Progress Report

CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Federal Government says New York’s standardized testing can be delayed but not canceled in this current academic school year.

“In a year that has not been standardized in any way shape or form, we do not believe that it is prudent to use standardize tests to assess what children know and what they are able to do,” NYSUT Executive Vice President Jolene T. DiBrango.

The New York State United Teachers Union (NYSUT) and the Albany Public School Teacher’s Association (APSTA) both do not approve of the Federal Government’s decision to mandate standardized testing while the pandemic is going on.

“All children have had a very different learning environment this year. As well as personal trauma, and family trauma; they may have experienced job loss of a parent, or food insecurity, or they may have actually seen people they love and care for get sick,” said DiBrango.  

“Our students and teachers are already under enough stress. Then the Federal Government decides that their needs for this data collection to what end is really disappointing,” Laura Franz, President of APSTA.

NYSUT previously encouraged the state to request a federal waiver of grades 3–8 and high school testing requirements.

The US Education Department says it will let states delay the tests or hold them online to provide flexibility.

Don Stevens the Assistant Superintendent of Watervliet School District says bringing back standardized testing feels like a sense of normalcy.

“We are doing these tests as we always have. This is another measure to identity students’ abilities. We will give them the support and the resources that they need to in order to be successful,” said Stevens.

DiBrango says this should not affect remote learners.  

“Students who are not engaged in-person learning are not going to be brought in simply to take a standardized test. It may not be safe, and it might not be prudent,” said DiBrango.

Stevens says they are prepared if remote students do decide to come back to the classroom to take their tests.

“We’re going to have to be mindful inviting remote students back in. We will assess where they sit, how we complete that testing, and make sure we are giving our students as much flexibility as possible” said Stevens.

All local educators say they will do whatever they can to provide a safe and comforting learning approach for their students.

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