Baltimore County elementary school teacher and MSEA President Cheryl Bost released the following statement in reaction to the State Board of Education’s action on March 4, 2021 to seek a testing waiver:
“We applaud the department and State Board for rethinking their original decision and instead seeking a waiver to spend less time on standardized tests by suspending the spring administration of MCAP. Educators understand that what our students need right now isn’t mandated standardized testing, but instructional time, opportunities to learn and be with their classmates, and time to address their social-emotional wellbeing and any trauma caused by the pandemic. This reduction in standardized testing is an important step in the right direction, but as Rachel McCusker, the elected teacher member on the board stated as the reason for her no vote, Maryland should take advantage of further waivers that may be offered by the federal government to allow for additional reductions in standardized testing time. We thank the State Board for their support of less testing and more learning for our students and urge the US Department of Education to quickly approve Maryland’s request.”
Based on the conversation today at the State Board meeting, a shortened diagnostic state assessment would be administered in the fall instead.
Last week, the State Board of Education took action on testing which would have required the administration of the MCAP this spring in response to a more restrictive than hoped for US Department of Education waiver process that was announced last Monday. Today’s decision to seek further flexibility is especially important given that this will be the first-ever administration of the MCAP in Maryland and the state’s ability to use it for standard-setting would be severely compromised if it were to be administered this spring.