STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

NYSUT, NYSED respond to federal decision to mandate standardized testing

New York State United Teachers is speaking out against the U.S. Department of Education’s decision to mandate standardized testing for this school year.

Posted: Feb 23, 2021 11:04 AM
Updated: Feb 23, 2021 5:44 PM

ALBANY, N.Y. (UPDATED) – New York State United Teachers is speaking out against the U.S. Department of Education’s decision to mandate standardized testing for this school year.

On Monday, the Education Department said it will not allow states to cancel standardized testing this year, but it will let states delay the tests or hold them online to provide flexibility during the pandemic.

The Biden administration said states must hold the tests, but can apply to be exempted from certain accountability measures. States may also be allowed to move tests to the summer or fall, or offer shortened tests or online assessments.

The union was pushing to cancel testing because of the unorthodox learning models students have been following during the pandemic.

According to NYSUT President Andy Pallotta, the union strongly rebukes the decision.

“In a year that has been anything but standard, mandating that students take standardized tests just doesn’t make sense,” said Pallotta. “As the educators in the classroom, we have always known that standardized tests are not the best way to measure a child’s development, and they are especially unreliable right now. We need to ensure that our students who have been hit hardest during the pandemic receive the support they need. Sizing up students with inequitable and stressful exams is not the solution.”

In January, NYSUT sent a letter to New York’s education commissioner, Betty Rosa, requesting a federal waiver to cancel Regents exams and other standardized testing for students in third grade through 12th grade, stating, “Without standardized instructional modes there should not be a standardized test at the end of the year.” The letter was sent Jan. 14.

“We have grave concerns that standardized tests at any level can be administered in any sort of equitable way,” said NYSUT Executive Vice President Jolene T. DiBrango. “Students deserve better. Regardless of what flexibility the federal government provides, no student should be forced to come to school in person just to take a test.”

The spokesperson for the New York State Education Department, Emily DeSantis, also released the following statement Tuesday:

“USDE informed states last night that it will not grant a blanket waiver for state assessments. While we are disappointed by this decision, we are examining all possible options. Further, USDE made the right call in affirming that no child should be made to come to school to take a state assessment. In addition, USDE agreed to uncouple state assessments from ESSA accountability requirements so that results solely will be used as a measure of student learning.

Given these circumstances, the Department will propose a series of regulatory amendments at the March Board of Regents meeting so Regents Exams would not be required to meet graduation requirements and to cancel any Regents Exam that is not required by USDE to be held. We continue to have discussions with USDE regarding this matter to find a path forward that is best for the health and safety of all New York’s children.”

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1656684

Reported Deaths: 47818
CountyCasesDeaths
Queens2129278804
Kings2121249144
Suffolk1633163095
Nassau1492512926
Bronx1452265897
Westchester1081932105
New York1044443917
Erie655711607
Richmond574051580
Monroe52759992
Rockland38797891
Orange37232720
Onondaga32489634
Dutchess22457408
Albany20931333
Oneida19763478
Niagara15351312
Broome14913336
Saratoga12002145
Schenectady10870178
Ulster10096228
Rensselaer9059132
Putnam838986
Chautauqua7341123
Chemung6445130
Oswego600889
Ontario581388
St. Lawrence556386
Steuben5516137
Cayuga538688
Jefferson481663
Sullivan477159
Herkimer4568107
Wayne448264
Cattaraugus443376
Genesee4420118
Madison385485
Clinton364526
Livingston355856
Tompkins346142
Columbia340596
Fulton335184
Montgomery3199107
Cortland317260
Allegany290681
Warren285455
Wyoming283349
Tioga281356
Greene265071
Orleans245281
Chenango244369
Otsego236043
Washington235352
Franklin209812
Lewis207330
Seneca162653
Delaware152433
Essex134726
Schoharie121512
Yates101526
Schuyler86812
Hamilton2852
Unassigned197131
Out of NY0192
Rome
Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 24° Lo: 21°
Feels Like: 22°
Binghamton
Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 28° Lo: 22°
Feels Like: 20°
Rome
Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 27° Lo: 22°
Feels Like: 22°
Rome
Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 18° Lo: 19°
Feels Like: 22°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Submit your Mutt Madness Picture through March 10th
March into Beautiful Skin Giveaway
2021 Golfer's Paradise Card - 21 Courses for only $99.99
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve