Teachers union wants testing mandates waived amid coronavirus pandemic

Posted 18 March 2020 at 1:27 pm

Press Release, New York State United Teachers

ALBANY – New York State United Teachers today is calling on U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to waive state testing mandates for children in grades 3-8 for the rest of this school year and the duration of the coronavirus pandemic as New York schools are shut down to help stem the spread of the virus.

“This is not the time to create more stress for our kids,” NYSUT President Andy Pallotta said. “It is critical that the federal government step up now and waive mandated state testing for all kids for the rest of this school year and the duration of this crisis.”

NYSUT has been working with the state Education Department and state Board of Regents to ensure that the federal government waives testing mandates and that no school is penalized.

The union believes that even if schools do re-open in several weeks, students would have dramatically less preparation time for the tests, putting them at a significant disadvantage and radically skewing the results. Even worse, considering the pervasive unease and uncertainty that this global pandemic has created, it simply isn’t fair or prudent to create more stress and anxiety for our students, NYSUT says.

NYSUT is urging its members to contact DeVos and the U.S. Department of Education to tell them to waive mandated testing for the rest of this school year and the duration of this crisis.

New York State United Teachers is a statewide union with more than 600,000 members in education, human services and health care. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.

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