Pa. public schools have option to postpone standardized testing until fall 2021

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Public schools in Pennsylvania now have the option to postpone federally-required academic achievement and English learner proficiency tests until the fall, according to an announcement made by Acting Education Secretary Noe Ortega on Saturday.

“Since the start of this pandemic, our work has been centered on protecting the health and safety of students, educators, and school staff across the state,” said Acting Secretary of Education Noe Ortega. “Our decision to extend the testing window continues to prioritize their health and safety and creates needed flexibilities for our unique school communities.”

Local education agencies are allowed to administer assessments either in the spring or fall due to the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic is creating for schools.

This will allow the Commonwealth to comply with federal law that ensures the administration doesn’t disadvantage undeserved student groups, and focuses on meeting students’ needs.

The U.S. Department of Education released new guidance on assessment administration for the spring of 2021 earlier this week to include an extension of the testing window to allow for the movement of assessments to summer or fall.

The new guidance also includes the option of remote assessments when possible, and a reduction of the state assessments to make testing more affordable.

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