U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos will speak at the White House coronavirus press briefing Monday to discuss the Trump administration’s decision to allow states to cancel standardized testing for this school year and what it means for the nation’s students.
Vice President Mike Pence said DeVos will join the briefing to answer questions about the department’s move to waive federal requirements for state testing for K-12 students, due to widespread school shutdowns to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“The burden of standardized testing is not going to be placed on schools,” Pence told reporters at the administration’s Saturday briefing.
ESSA requires states to test students in reading and math in grades 3 through 8 and once in high school. State and district leaders had pushed for increased flexibility as they closed schools to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Neither students nor teachers need to be focused on high-stakes tests during this difficult time,” DeVos said in a statement released Friday. “Students are simply too unlikely to be able to perform their best in this environment.”
As of Friday, 45 states had closed schools and the remainder had closed at least some schools. The decision has left more than more than 50 million students out of class.
While fielding questions from reporters on Saturday, President Donald Trump said the waiver is “only fair to the students and the parents of the students.”
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