MADISON – Representative LaKeshia Myers (D-Milwaukee) on Thursday called on Governor Tony Evers to cancel state testing for all K-12 students due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This comes after the Governor ordered all schools to be closed indefinitely on March 17th.
Myers stated, “As educators, students, and parents have had to adjust to the indefinite closing of schools, it is an illogical expectation to insist that students undergo standardized testing this school year. While I respect protocol and understand that there is a federal waiver process, we are in a state of emergency and cannot afford to rely on bureaucratic processes to get an expedient answer from the U.S. Secretary of Education. Therefore, I urge Governor Evers to make the decision to cancel all remaining K-12 state tests. As a former educator and a legislator, I believe it is important to act in the best interest of the people of Wisconsin first and ask for federal forgiveness later. This is a critical action that would aid in alleviating parents, teachers, and students during the COVID-19 crisis.”
Under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015 all states are mandated to test students in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics in grades 3-8 and once in high school. ESSA also requires students be assessed in Science once each grade span (3-6, 7-9, and 10-12 grades). Student performance on these assessments is reported in proficiency categories and used for accountability determination at the school, district and state levels. Wisconsin State statute also requires students to take grade 9 and 10 assessments as well as the social studies test. The state of Wisconsin uses the ACT, ACT Aspire, Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM), and Wisconsin Forward Exams, these tests together create the Wisconsin Student Assessment System.