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Metro Detroit superintendent pushes back against benchmark assessment testing

Michigan passed school funding bill called ‘Return to Learn’

OAKLAND COUNTY, Mich. – Students in Michigan have gone back to school and many are adjusting to online classes.

One of the things they will soon see is benchmark assessment testing. A Metro Detroit superintendent is angry about the requirement and is calling it unethical.

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The State of Michigan passed a new school funding bill called “Return to Learn” and it was signed by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Part of the bill requires benchmark testing for one year.

Huron Valley School Superintendent Dr. Paul Salah is not happy about it and calls it, and other testing, a waste of time.

“It’s unethical because that’s spending our time, our energy and expertise and it should be on safety and the education of our children,” Salah said.

Salah feels the state assessments and the federal mandate to do assessments reinstated this fall, after getting dropped last spring, should play no part in a pandemic-era education.

“Children who have experienced trauma are not going to score well on assessments and we don’t need a test to tell us that," Salah said.

Salah said the tests will only measure the impact the virus has had on the students and doesn’t improve education outcomes.

Republican State Rep., and former school teacher, Pam Hornberger of Chesterfield Township heartily disagrees. She believes the assessments are not time consuming and will tell teachers what their students know.

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