Families concerned about in-person standardized tests as COVID cases continue to rise

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- North Carolina Families for School Testing Reform is hosting an online student and parent event about concerns with in-person standardized student testing as COVID-19 cases surge.

The group, which argues that current standardized tests don't adequately assess student abilities, has collected more than 6,500 in their online petition asking EOCs get waived.

"Our mission all the time is for fewer tests, fairer tests and fruitful tests so we feel that the current mandate to require in-person testing is not checking any of those boxes," said Chelsea Bartel, a school psychologist and leader with NC Families for School Testing Reform. "It's not going to be fruitful to measure skills right now in the midst of a pandemic. It's not fair to our students and families and communities who have chosen virtual learning."

Students in certain high school courses must go to school to take their end of course or EOC exams and Career and Technical Assessments or CTEs in person. The results account for at least 20 percent of a student's grade.

The Wake County Public School System will test after the holiday break, after the traditional calendar semester ends. Cumberland County Schools pushed their testing back to next month when students return from winter break.

"Some districts are deciding to delay the testing until January in the hopes that it's safer at that point," Bartel said. "So while we do appreciate that work, we feel that it's not enough."

On Monday, North Carolina State Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson sent an email to educators saying many have contacted DPI and local school leaders with concerns that mandatory EOC's count for 20 percent of a student's grade. It includes a link to a form educators and parents can fill out to have their voices heard.
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