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Standardized Tests COULD Be COVID Casuality

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The Superintendent of Shelby County TN, the state’s largest, is calling for the suspension of the State Standardized Tests for 2020-21, a move that many of his colleagues support. Other articles on reopening are also addressing this issue, and the support for continuing the tests in the face of the closure last year and the uncertainty in the year ahead is tepid at best. Why? Because the justification for using tests to rank and rate schools is now clearly linked to the digital divide and that, in turn, is clearly linked to income… and if test results are clearly and incontrovertibly linked to income their validity will be questioned. As long as there is some degree of separation between parents’ income and a child’s performance on tests the notion that tests can be used to “measure” schools seems valid. COVID-19 is showing the world that tests don’t measure the effectiveness of schools… they measure the wealth of parents. MAYBE the standardized test movement will be a Covid casualty.

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