NEPC Review: Student Assessment During COVID-19 (Center for American Progress, September 2020)
School closings and the ever-increasing number of deaths provide the backdrop for a proposal by the Center for American Progress (CAP) to deny waivers of the federally mandated administration of standardized tests in spring 2021. Further, the federal government proposes to add to those assessments in ways that CAP argues would make the test results more useful. In its recent report, CAP sides with the Department of Education’s policy of denying such requests for waivers, and it calls for additional assessments that “capture multiple aspects of student well-being, including social-emotional needs, engagement, and conditions for learning” as well as supplementary gathering of student information. The reviewers find the CAP proposal to be ill-timed, unrealistic, and inappropriate for dealing with the exigencies arising from the pandemic.