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US Education Department denies Michigan standardized testing waiver for 2020-21 school year

As Michigan students return from spring break, they will have an important test on their schedule.
As Michigan students return from spring break, they will have an important test on their schedule.

DETROIT – As Michigan students return from spring break, they will have an important test on their schedule.

READ: USED denies Michigan’s request to waive federal requirement to test students during pandemic

The U.S. Department of Education has denied Michigan’s request to waive the M-STEP testing this year.

While some school districts are angry, there are others who think this is the right move for students.

READ: Michigan asks to waive standardized testing for 2020-2021 school year

While the Michigan State Board of Education won a waiver in 2020 to forgo Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress (M-STEP) testing, this year it will begin next week -- just after most students return from spring break.

Many educators have said that the 2020-21 school year isn’t the best to try to measure progress due to learning loss and teaching challenges from COVID.

The Federal government said they want districts to administer the test anyway.

While many school officials think it’s the wrong move, Detroit Public Schools Community District superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti has gone on the record as wanting to move forward with M-STEP testing this year. Despite the learning interruptions, he believes testing is a way to ensure data to address and evaluate for information to push for resources needed to close learning gaps.

You can watch Paula Tutman’s full story in the video above.

More: Return to School


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.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.