Heartland superintendent reacts to standardized testing during the pandemic

Heartland superintendent reacts to standardized testing during the pandemic

CHARLESTON, Mo. (KFVS) - The U.S. Department of Education released new guidance on how to handle state standardized testing this spring.

The U.S. Department of Education recommended states approach testing with flexibility and consider how exams can be done differently. Suggestions include shortening assessments to prioritize in-person learning time, moving exams to the summer or fall, and allowing students to take the rests remotely in certain cases.

“It’s just a bad year to really try to assess anybody, I think,” said Jeremy Siebert, superintendent at Charleston R-1 School District.

Siebert said he’s worried about how students will score on this year’s state, standardized tests.

“Anytime you miss three months of a school year like we did at the end of the school year last year and face the challenges that we face this year, in all grade levels especially I think in your early elementary levels, those students, they’ve missed just valuable, valuable face-to-face time,” he said.

The Missouri State Board of Education suspended exam results for this spring’s tests, but Siebert thinks more needs to be done.

“I’m thankful that they’re not holding us accountable, however, I know it’s a pretty popular opinion amongst superintendents as well as my opinion that I just don’t think we should be having testing at all this year,” he said. “We’ll get through it, and we’ll do the best we can, and we’ll encourage our students to do the best they can. But like I said we’re still hoping that they’ll go ahead and waive it, because like I said I think it’s an expectation that we do not need to put on our students in a pandemic.”

Siebert said students who are currently learning virtually will come to the school to take their exams. The schools will follow all COVID-19 protocols during testing and sanitize any shared computers.

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