MEA President statement on request for 2021 federal testing waiver

EAST LANSING — The following can be attributed to MEA President Paula Herbart about the Michigan Department of Education’s request for a federal standardized testing waiver for 2021 that was filed today with the U.S. Department of Education:

“MEA applauds Superintendent Rice and the Michigan Department of Education for continuing efforts to obtain a federal waiver for testing requirements this year. The former administration’s denial of an earlier request was a prime example of how tone deaf they were on this issue, and we sincerely hope the new administration will provide Michigan with needed flexibility in these unprecedented times.

“Amidst this pandemic, we simply cannot waste valuable learning time on high-stakes standardized testing. At the local level, as required by state law, benchmark assessments are being administered to help guide efforts to address student learning delays caused by the public health crisis. Mandated standardized testing like the M-STEP does not provide educators the data needed to meet individual student learning needs in real time, which is what we need to be laser focused on right now.

“We encourage the U.S. Department of Education to grant this waiver request, and then for the Michigan Legislature to take action using that flexibility to let educators and students focus on the critical work of teaching and learning – not testing.”

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