February 23, 2021

Biden Greenlights Spring Assessments, AFT Sees Red

By Bellwether

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The Biden Administration just released its assessment policy. It tracks what a lot of people have been suggesting, and what some key education civil rights groups have asked for. Namely, there will be assessments but no accountability based on the results pursuant to federal requirements and no student participation requirements, which makes sense in this context.

It also includes operational flexibility as needed given the nature of schooling right now. In particular, modified assessments and students don’t have to return to school for tests if they are not in school – which seems like it might play into the politics of reopening. The AFT highlighted that provision in their unhappy statement criticizing the policy.

It is awkward to ask for gazillions in public money to help schools address learning loss without making an effort to assess the extent and prevalence of that loss. So it’s a reasonable proposal and politically and substantively a good one given today’s context. Keep an eye, though, on the flexibility requests that do come in as part of waiver requests states will be seeking. That’s the test, so to speak.

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