New York Teacher’s Union Doesn’t Want Standardized Tests in 2021
The New York State United Teachers announced their opposition to standardized tests this year.
According to WHEC, the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) announced on Tuesday, February 23, 2021, that they "strongly rebuked" a mandate for standardized testing for the 2020-2021 school year. The United States Department of Education announced on Monday, February 22, 2021, that states will not be allowed to skip federally required testing in schools. However, the federal government is allowing some flexibility.
States are able to move standardized testing to the summer or fall, according to WHEC. Or, states will be able to offer shortened tests or online assessments. Acting Assistant Education Secretary Ian Rosenblum wrote that states can also apply to be exempt from certain accountability measures.
Despite the flexibility, the New York State United Teachers still doesn't feel the tests should be administered. WHEC reports that NYSUT President Andy Pallotta said, “In a year that has been anything but standard, mandating that students take standardized tests just doesn’t make sense.”
According to WHEC, the New York State United Teachers said they previously encouraged New York State to request a federal waiver of grades three through eight and high school testing requirements. However, Rosenblum said the U.S. Department of Education is not accepting blanket waivers.
The New York State Education Department issued a statement saying, "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.” At this time, regents exams are still required to graduate in New York State. The measures may or may not be passed in March 2021 to change that.