Standardized testing will continue this year

Written by on March 30, 2021

Standardized testing will continue this year

By Chloe Nouvelle

March 30, 2021

Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash

Despite the pandemic, the US Department of Education says states must still give standardized tests to students.

Listen to the story.

Educators are arguing whether it’s a good idea to spend time prepping for the test, especially this year.

Here’s the question: It’s been a year of learning loss. Given that, is testing a good way to measure what was lost? Or is it a distraction for teachers who could be making up for lost time?

Magee is the chief executive officer of Chiefs for Change, a national nonprofit that supports what he calls the country’s most prominent K-12 system leaders, including the superintendent of Philadelphia’s schools.

Magee says tests should be given to assess what happened to student achievement in the pandemic. 

“Particularly to inform state thinking about funding,” he says. “Assessment helps us to understand where resources should go and how much we need in terms of resources from the state. 

And which students should get more resources.

“We disaggregate assessment based on different groups of students, including historically disadvantaged students, in order to understand where the inequities and disparities are in our system,” Magee says. 

But some teachers don’t think this year is the year to test. 

Leslie Franklin teaches special education at Mosser Elementary in Allentown. She and other teachers say this year, testing will cause even more anxiety and take away from learning.

“As a special educator, I feel that standardized testing during a pandemic is counterproductive. We should be spending the precious time we have building academic skills, not testing for student learning loss,” Franklin says. 

Right now, she says, students should be focused on health, not test performance. 

This year at least, Pennsylvania schools have until the fall to test their students.

Sign up for our WLVR weekly newsletter to stay up to date with the latest news from the Lehigh Valley and across Pennsylvania.


Current track