Some school districts may be feeling a bit of relief this week after the Department of Education announced public schools in Pennsylvania can delay federally required standardized tests. Acting PA Department of Education Secretary, Noe Ortega, says public schools can either take the tests as normal this spring or delay them until the summer or even fall.
Westmont Hilltop Superintendent, Thomas Mitchell, says students in his district will go ahead with the tests this spring since they’ve been able to have mostly in-person instruction this school year. Mitchell says he feels the students are well prepared on the material they’ll be tested on, but doesn’t think it’s necessary to test students this year.
“I do not believe that the state needs to impose standardized testing upon students this year I don’t believe we need the information to find out where students gaps are. I believe that school districts are already benchmarking students, performing diagnostic tests with students to determine where gaps are,” said Mitchell.
Richland School District Director of Educational Services, Brandon Bailey, says their students will also move forward with a spring test date since they too have been able to teach mainly in-person.
“We didn’t want to push the tests to the fall because so many of the tests are end of class tests like the algebra one test our students are going to be done in May and have to wait June, July, August and then take the test in the fall that doesn’t make sense for our students,” said Bailey.
We reached out to other school districts that have had more remote learning this school year such as the Greater Johnstown School District and Somerset Area School District for their plans, but no one has responded to comment.