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Biden firm on standardized tests as Co. lawmakers look to suspend them

Biden firm on standardized tests as Co. lawmakers look to suspend them

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Earlier this month, many parents in southern Colorado and across the state were hoping Gov. Jared Polis would suspend state standardized testing for the 2020-2021 school year.

Monday, the Biden Administration announced states must administer the required standardized tests this year, but schools will not be held accountable for the results. States could also give a remote, shorter, or even delayed version of the exams.

This comes after a group of Colorado lawmakers introduced a bill that could suspend state standardized testing for this school year. If Colorado obtains the waiver, the bill would suspend the administration of the Colorado Measures of Academic Success testing for all subjects.
"They want to make sure all schools and all districts in all states are serving all students as equitable as possible," said Republican Sen. Paul Lundeen of District 9.

Sen. Lundeen believes the Colorado Measures of Academic Success Assessment can help the state understand the impact COVID-19 has had on learning and identify what resources students need moving forward.
"It is more of a burden on the adults than it is for the students, as for the adults it is multiple days of administrative preparation and so forth," added Sen. Lundeen.

However despite the federal requirement to administer these standardized tests, the Colorado Education Association is still pushing for these exams to be suspended.

"The guidance that came down from the Biden administration yesterday, it did leave room for flexibilities for states so we are looking forward to keep continuing to work with our elected officials at the legislature," said President of CEA, Amie Baca-Oehlert.
Some flexibilities include, shorter, delayed or remote versions of these exams.

Colorado State Senator, Rachel Zenzinger says these solutions might not work for Colorado since the state's testing including the state's testing provider does not allow tests to be taken home.
Moreover, the CEA believes there is no need for these state exams when they've been assessing students already.

"We need to be looking at data from interim assessments and teacher feedback, teachers who are closest to the students everyday to really tell parents how their students are doing," added Baca-Oehlert.

If Colorado obtains this waiver for spring testing, the bill would suspend testing for every subject.

Jasmine Arenas

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