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Maryland's decision to delay standardized testing brings relief to parents and teachers

Posted at 10:22 PM, Mar 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-04 23:20:09-05

The Maryland State Board of Education voted Thursday to delay standardized testing for students until the fall.

Amy Tanner, who has three kids in the Anne Arundel County system, is applauding the board’s decision.

“I find [testing] unnecessary,” she said. “Especially after a year of less than perfect learning.”

Tanner said all of her children have struggled with virtual learning this past year, but especially her daughter who is an individualized education program (IEP).

“Not at the fault of any of the teachers they’ve done their best, but you can’t really help a kid who is behind in reading through a computer,” she said.

This week, many Maryland students returned to school for in person-learning. In some cases, for the first time in about a year.

Cheryl Bost, who is the president of the Maryland Education Association, said right now schools should stay focused on improving kids’ education as well as addressing their social and emotional needs.

“The last thing we want to do is take time away to take a test,” she said.

Bost is hoping the state takes it a step further and suspend testing for the rest of the year.

“This doesn’t take away our obligation to teach our students, this just is letting us as professionals in the districts do it in a way to bets impact students,” she said.

Tanner believes testing in the fall could be a good way to show how many students are falling behind.

“The results are going to show a lot of these kids are behind and I think it’s going to take a lot longer than a couple of months at the end of the school year for them to catch back up,” she said. “I believe testing in the fall will be necessary because they need to be able to see that.

The school board will seek a waiver from the Department of Education to make it official, which is expected to get approved.