COVID-19

School tests are on despite soaring COVID rates

State education leaders had hoped the feds would waive requirements for standardized tests. They refused.

Michigan’s K-12 students will have to take standardized tests this spring despite the rising rate of COVID-19 infections in the state. That comes after federal education officials refused to waive standardized testing requirements requested by state education leaders.

What Happened: Earlier this year, State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Education asking them to waive the federal standardized testing requirements.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

A weekday morning email roundup of Kalamazoo stories and events.

The feds did just that in 2020 during the early days of the pandemic. This time, though, they declined.

That means that students in Michigan’s K-12 schools will have to take the M-STEP, PSAT, SAT, or other standardized test at some point during the spring.

A sticking point is the fact that such tests must be given in person. In an interview with Michigan Radio, Rice said that creates problems for school districts throughout the state.

“There is no one that is going to compel a parent to have their child enter a local school if that parent believes that it’s unsafe for that child to do so,” he said. “So we’re going to get state summative results, I predict, for fewer than half of our children in the State of Michigan.”

The tests are meant to gauge how well students in Michigan are learning. Incomplete assessments combined with learning deficits caused by on-again-off-again in-person classes over the past year could make it difficult to get a good picture of how much students have learned.

Nonetheless, testing will go on this spring despite all the potential problems that creates.

You can read more here.

Support local. Donate today to Kalamazoo's only locally owned and independent daily news organization.