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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Heather Keeler (DFL)

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A call for the suspension of standardized testing in Minnesota for this academic year

Monday, March 08, 2021

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Senator Erin Murphy (DFL-Saint Paul) and Representative Heather Keeler (DFL-Moorhead) held a press conference today with a special education teacher, a teacher of English Learners, a parent, and a student to call for the suspension of standardized testing in Minnesota for this academic year.

After hearing voices in the community raise legitimate concerns with the impacts COVID-19 has had on students across the state, Minnesota legislators are calling on the Biden Administration to waive standardized tests and give states the flexibility to suspend, delay, or choose another means of student assessment.

“Our students’ education and well-being must be our first concern as they return to in person learning,” said Sen. Murphy. “Classroom time is precious and best spent on instruction and hours of standardized tests take away from that. We know COVID-19 has been a barrier for learning and challenging on mental health. Let’s use the months ahead wisely – for learning, for meaningful actionable assessment that informs students, parents and educators so we can invest in their education and get our kids back on track.”

“We know a year out of the classroom has impacted learning and that students are behind,” said Rep. Keeler. “This is about keeping our students’ well-being in the forefront by giving them more time with their educators instead of time taking tests. Assessments that can be done now and be used to inform us rather than an MCA with results next fall, will be a more useful tool for students, parents, and educators – and we believe that is a stronger tool for accountability.”