State standardized tests canceled amid coronavirus crisis

Reprinted with permission from the Times Union

ALBANY — New York Education officials announced Friday, March 20, that 2020 elementary- and intermediate-level state assessments have been suspended for the remainder of this school year due to the coronavirus pandemic which forced schools throughout New York to close.

The state Education Department has applied for federal waivers for testing, accountability and reporting requirements.

“The school closures caused by novel coronavirus are unprecedented and so, we have to make unprecedented decisions for our students,” state Education Commissioner Shannon Tahoe said in a statement. “It is most important that during the time of closure, schools are able to continue to focus their efforts toward local school and community needs, as they have been doing, and not be concerned about state assessments.”

President Donald Trump earlier announced that his administration would waive federal requirements for standardized tests for students in kindergarten through 12th grade because the outbreak has forced schools in the country to close during the annual testing season.

State officials said the department’s priority is to ensure that districts provide continuity of instruction for students to the greatest extent possible while preventing learning loss while schools are closed.

The following New York state exams will be canceled this year: New York State Grades 3-8 English Language Arts Test; New York State Grades 3-8 Mathematics Test; New York State Grade 4 Elementary-Level Science Test; New York State Grade 8 Intermediate-Level Science Test; New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test (NYSESLAT) in Grades K-12; and New York State Alternate Assessment (NYSAA) for students with severe cognitive disabilities in Grades 3-8 and high school.

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