Michigan students won't have to take state standardized tests this year

Posted at 1:12 PM, Mar 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-20 15:41:18-04

(WXYZ) — Michigan students will not have to take the M-STEP state test and other state assessments and standardized tests, U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced on Friday.

Related: State education department: Online schooling won't count toward annual requirement

The news comes days after education leaders urged DeVos to waive statewide student assessments.

According to a release from the U.S. Education Department, states will be able to seek a waiver from federal testing requirements by filling out a form with a new streamlined application process.

"Students need to be focused on staying healthy and continuing to learn. Teachers need to be able to focus on remote learning and other adaptations. Neither students nor teachers need to be focused on high-stakes tests during this difficult time. Students are simply too unlikely to be able to perform their best in this environment," DeVos said in a statement.

Michigan Gov. Whitmer closed K-12 schools in the state from March 16 through at least April 6 amid the COVID-19 outbreak, and many schools have switched to online instruction.

Michigan's annual M-STEP tests are scheduled to begin the week of April 13 and run through May 28.

Those states that are granted a waiver will also get a waiver from the requirement that statewide testing data be used in its accountability system.

On Friday, the Michigan Department of Education issued a a memo on Friday saying that online schooling happening during the COVID-19 outbreak won't count toward the annual hourly requirements for students.

"There is no mechanism to earn instructional time during a period of mandated school closure. However, schools can and are encouraged to offer supplemental learning opportunities to students using distance learning methods as they see fit. MDE will not be granting seat time waiver requests during this time," the memo from Deputy State Superintendent Vanessa Kessler said.