Educators weigh in on standardized testing during COVID pandemic

Request for more flexibility denied

How schools in Michigan are handing standardized testing during the pandemic

DETROIT – Educators in Michigan are dealing with concerns about standardized testing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Michigan has asked the federal government for waivers to allow more flexibility during the pandemic. That request was denied.

READ: More than 80% of Michigan schools offering in-person instruction

That decision has sent state educators back to the drawing board. They said there are pros and cons when it comes to standardized testing. There is a need to make sure that all students, no matter their situation and standardized testing can give a glimpse into if students are getting an equal education.

Educators said losing standardized testing could harm poor, disadvantaged students and minority students. They said that enforcing the federal standards could also harm those same students.

Kenneth Gutman is the superintendent of Walled Lake Consolidated Schools. He is also the vice president of the K-12 Alliance Michigan, which represents more than 500,000 students and educators across the state.

“The reality is right now we need to be teaching, not testing,” he said.

The U.S. Board of Education did say that it will show some flexibility by allowing states to make individual cases for waiving the tests.

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About the Authors:

Paula Tutman is an Emmy award-winning journalist who came to Local 4 in 1992. She's a Peace Corps alum who spent her early childhood living in Sierra Leone, West Africa and Tanzania and East Africa.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.