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Leon County advocates, parents push to skip 2020-2021 standardized testing

Posted at 6:33 PM, Feb 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-24 18:33:34-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — In a year that's been anything but standard, concerned parents are pleading with district superintendents and the Department of Education to not require this year's standardized testing.

The Title One Advisory Council in Leon County sent a letter to the Florida Senate Committee on Education urging state officials to allow the "robust progress monitoring" required throughout the pandemic to take the place of this year's standardized testing requirement.

It says the in-person proctoring required for standardized testing would not allow for proper social distancing, a major concern for parents who opted for remote learning or who have students with heightened health sensitivities.

"Some students are at home doing digital learning, so you're asking parents to bring their children into the school to test and potentially expose them to COVID or increase the risk," said Title I Advisory Council Chair Talethia Edwards. "Teachers are at risk to be exposed because only teachers can proctor tests. It's so many levels."

ABC27 contacted the Department of Education for their response and received a written statement that reads in part quote, "Nearly 900,000 assessments have been safely administered, statewide, since summer of 2020. The fact is, Florida’s districts and schools have proven that operating schools and administrating assessments can be done safely."

The state has also delayed deadlines for reporting test results so districts and schools can implement lengthened testing schedules.

During Tuesday's Leon County School Board Meeting, Superintendent Rocky Hanna said he plans to give families choices and options for testing.