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National reading, math tests postponed to 2022 amid coronavirus surge

National reading, math tests postponed to 2022 amid coronavirus surge
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National reading and math tests have been postponed until to 2022 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) announced on Wednesday. 

The news comes as the pandemic has forced schools to switch to remote learning models or limit the number of people who can be inside of school buildings at one time.

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) assessments, which are supposed to be conducted every two years, were scheduled to take place in 2021 for students in fourth and eighth grades. They are key indicators of educational progress in the U.S. 

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NCES Commissioner James Woodworth said in a statement that the center “cannot at this time conduct a national-level assessment ... in a manner with sufficient validity and reliability to meet the mandate of the law.”

He said the changes in operations and lack of access to students means it could not produce estimates of what students know compared to past or future state estimates. 

“By postponing the collection, we are allowing time for conditions on the ground to stabilize before attempting a large-scale national assessment,” he said. He added that it would have cost tens of millions of dollars to conduct the tests in 2021. 

He said that postponing the NAEP gives states more time to conduct their own assessments, which could serve as a gap for the missing national data. 

The National Assessment Governing Board and the Council of State School Officers supported the move, according to Reuters

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In a joint statement, House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby ScottRobert (Bobby) Cortez ScottDeLauro wins Steering Committee vote for Appropriations chair National reading, math tests postponed to 2022 amid coronavirus surge Trump officials approve Georgia plan to remove healthcare.gov as enrollment option MORE (D-Va.) and Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayHawley pens op-ed to defend decision to object to electoral votes amid pushback Demolition at the Labor Department, too Hawley, Cruz face rising anger, possible censure MORE (D-Wash.), the ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, said the announcement makes administering statewide assessments next year “a moral imperative.” 

“In the absence of NAEP and without statewide assessments, parents, educators, and policymakers would have zero data on the scope of learning loss,” they said. 

Education Secretary Betsy DeVosBetsy DeVosAzar in exit letter to Trump says Capitol riot could 'tarnish' legacy READ: Departure letter from HHS Secretary Azar to Trump ICE acting director resigns weeks after assuming post MORE has supported conducting statewide assessments next year, Reuters noted. She’s previously told Scott that Congress would need to sign off on postponing the NAEP since it is federally mandated.