State testing at a crossroads

State testing at a crossroads

By Dale Chu

With the remainder of the school year up in the air because of the coronavirus, a growing number of states have announced or are contemplating the cancelation of testing this spring. Nationwide, nearly 40 million students have been impacted by the closures, representing 74,000 schools. To help keep track of where states are on testing, we’ve created a handy chart (see below) here at Assessment HQ to track whether they are delaying, canceling, or moving ahead as scheduled.

My friend Rick Hess penned a compelling piece for Education Week arguing that the feds should preemptively waive the assessment requirement for all states this year. This would be a significant step because federal permission is required to suspend or cancel statewide testing. Even so, it’s a hard decision given all of the implications assessments have for accountability systems, research, and public consumption. It’s why I’m not quite where Rick is yet (my last post explains further), but my feelings are moot if students don’t return to class.

At the risk of being trite, all of this remains very fluid. Kansas just announced the closure of all schools in the state for the rest of the school year. It surely will not be the only state to do so. In the meantime, here’s a list of states and what their status is on spring testing. We will keep updating it, so please stay tuned.

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