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Standardized testing in the Spring raising concerns among parents

Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Whether parents like it or not, the State of Arkansas said all standardizing testing this Spring will happen and it will happen onsite.  

This applies to all students, including those who are learning virtually this year.

“The requirement for 95 percent testing is still in place,” said Arkansas Secretary of Education Johnny Key.

In April and May, all students, even those who chose online learning, will be expected to show up in person and test.

“Almost $800 million of funding to the state hinges on meeting the terms of what is, in essence, a contract with the federal government,” Key said.

“I know that that comes from the federal level, but I feel like the state isn’t doing enough to push back on that,” said concerned LRSD parent Veronica McClane.
McClane said she refuses to comply.

“Parents need to know that they can’t force you to bring your child into a potentially deadly situation,” McClane said.

McClane said her child is at risk for certain health problems, which is one reason why he’s been learning virtually all year long.

“They cannot guarantee my child’s safety, and so for them to pretend that they can is, to me, unethical,” McClane said.  

These tests were waived last year at the onset of the pandemic and McClane said she’d like to see the tests waived again.

But the Department of Education said they don’t expect a waiver to be offered and even if it is, they said Arkansas will still move forward with the onsite testing.

The Department of Education said it’s important they understand the impact the pandemic has had on student achievement; they said the only way to do that is by analyzing the data from the state assessment.

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