Support Standardized Testing Waivers for Public Schools for 20-21

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Cindy Truett started this petition to United States Department of Education

U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, has announced that no standardized testing waivers will be made available for states during the 2020-2021 school year.  These are unprecedented times for education in our country as educators work to effectively educate students during a pandemic.  School changed overnight and educators, parents and students had to shift overnight as well. Educators are providing education for students in multiple formats with some in-person, some online and some a combination of both. Nothing about school looks the same as it did last March. That requires significant shifts in spending, training, procedures, safety protocols, resources, tech tools, staffing and teaching methods. All monies should be directed to support schools in effectively implementing these "new ways of schooling" necessitated by the pandemic. Funds are needed to enable schools to effectively do their primary job in new ways. That job is to ensure that ALL students learn at high levels. These are uncharted waters in education and traditional standardized tests will not provide an accurate measure of a student's learning under these extremely stressful circumstances and therefore, are worthless. That money should provide schools with the tools and resources needed to guarantee access and equity in learning for students. Standardized tests will only serve to feed the financial interests of the publishers of such tests and not improve the educational outcomes for students.  Standardized test results will do nothing toward ensuring equity for all students during these trying times. Students' futures are at stake if we do not step up and demand that ALL students be provided equitable access and opportunities to learn whether at home or in school! The pandemic has also had far-reaching economic impact on our communities. Funds redirected to standardized testing will only compromise the ability of already budget-strapped districts to provide the tools and resources needed to ensure equity for students. PUT STUDENTS FIRST,  NOT PUBLISHERS!

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