Students to take standardized test this year despite pleas from educators across the state
The first major education policy from the Biden administration is causing quite a stir in the Hudson Valley.
Students must take standardized tests this school year, and some local education leaders don't support the plan.
In a surprising turnaround, President Joe Biden is forcing states to give standardized testing this year, hoping to learn more about the pandemic's impact on students' learning - something they feel that can't do without exams.
Despite pleas from educators across the state, standardized testing will happen this year, but with a few changes.
They can be shortened, offered remotely and can be administered later this year. They will not be used to evaluate schools.
But the feds want to know where students stand during pandemic learning.
Educators like White Plains Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joe Ricca have been firmly against testing this school year.
He argues that it will take up time, waste money and do little to benefit students and staff.
"The dollars that have been earmarked for standardized assessments, yes they should go to tests -- tests for COVID-19. So that schools that haven't been open all year can finally welcome their children back," he says.
Third through eighth graders are scheduled to take two state assessments, while high schoolers must take three Regents.
This means New York can't cancel the English, math and science exams but will get rid of the ones the feds aren't mandating.
"There are so many different ways to go about this and just requiring tests for the sake of requiring them doesn't make sense to me," says Ricca.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the New York Department of Education says, "We are disappointed by this decision, we are examining all possible options."
The New York United Teachers Union's president adds, "In a year that has been anything but standard, mandating that students take standardized tests just doesn't make sense."
Here's what's next for testing this spring:
- Testing may begin as early as April for elementary students.
- Educators are hoping to push them back as far as next fall.
- The fear is many students in three through eight will opt out at a higher rate than before.