WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 17, 2021) — Education Reform Now (ERN) National President Shavar Jeffries released the following statement following U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona’s remarks today on the administration of annual assessments this Spring:
“We applaud Secretary Cardona for standing firm on the administration of annual summative assessments this Spring against pressure from opponents. Given the interruptions to schooling over the past year, it is more important than ever for states and districts to have comparable, objective information so that they may better direct resources to the students most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Statewide annual assessments are the only tests designed to provide this type of comparable information for families, educators, and policymakers. Without it, states and districts cannot accurately allocate the recently passed $130 billion in COVID relief funds for K-12 education—20% of which is required to address COVID-related learning loss.
The Department of Education should continue to provide flexibility to states to support the administration of annual assessments during these uniquely challenging times, and results from Spring 2021 tests should not be used in connection to school identification or teacher evaluations.
Our students cannot afford to return to a time when comparability did not exist, and systematic disenfranchisement was swept under the rug. If we believe in equity for our students, we cannot back away from annual summative assessments.”