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Will standardized tests accurately assess students amid an unprecedented school year? Educators explain what they think should happen

News 12's Elizabeth Hashagen was joined by Dr. Robert Zywicki, the superintendent of Mount Olive Township School District, and Kara McCormick-Lyons, the president of the White Plains Teachers Association, to answer your standardized testing questions.

News 12 Staff

Mar 5, 2021, 4:07 PM

Updated 1,140 days ago

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News 12's Elizabeth Hashagen was joined by Dr. Robert Zywicki, the superintendent of Mount Olive Township School District, and Kara McCormick-Lyons, the president of the White Plains Teachers Association, to answer your standardized testing questions.
The Biden administration recently announced that students must take standardized tests this school year. Will the test prep for students look the same this spring?
McCormick-Lyons says test preparation needs to be different because of the hardships many students have been through because of the pandemic. Dr. Zywicki also says his schools are focusing on prioritizing the students’ wellbeing over preparation of standardized tests.
Can standardized tests actually provide an accurate assessment of students, especially in such a unique year for learning? Dr. Zywicki says he doesn’t think so.
McCormick-Lyons says she respects the choice of many parents opting their children out of standardized tests, and she will be doing so with her own children.
Has remote learning not been as successful as in-person learning? McCormick-Lyons gives her input below.
Should standardized testing be eliminated altogether? Dr. Zywicki says he thinks they should be because schools spend their own funds on internal assessments, making standardized testing is unnecessary.
Do students need a full year back in a traditional setting before any standardized evaluations of schools start back up?
Dr. Zywicki says students may even need two full years in a traditional setting before things can start to look normal again. He also says the Department of Education should send districts surveys about their finds of their own internal assessments, instead of a one-size-fits-all all test for students.
Many parents say students have had trouble learning from some teachers remotely. McCormick-Lyons says it's important for parents to reach out to teachers to discuss any difficulties. As well, she says teachers have had to pivot into a new learning form and it is difficult to evaluate them off just remote instruction.


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