Group of parents wants standardized testing put on hold this year due to pandemic

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A group of parents wants standardized testing, statewide, put on hold this year due to the pandemic.

“In a normal year, standardized testing shows what a student has retained on a given day,” Leslie Bonebreak, an Oklahoma parent, told KFOR.

However, Bonebreak said she and other parents feel things are a bit different this year.

“There are many societal factors that contribute to standardized testing results, such as poverty, chaotic home life, right now illness,” Bonebreak said. “During this pandemic, that exemplified a tenfold because we’re all – students, parents, and teachers – are going through a lot of trauma this year.”

She’s part of a group of parents, statewide, who are trying to opt out of mandatory state testing due to the pandemic, through a form citing state statute, Title 25, which talks about parents rights.

“So you fill out this form, three copies, fill it out. Send one to your teacher, one to the principal and one to your school administrator,” Bonebreak said.

Bonebreak posted the form on Facebook and other parents started commenting.

One parent wrote, “The overwhelming majority of students are not prepared for testing this year.”

Another parent wrote, “Opting out of state testing this year could lessen the pressure put on our teachers and students in one of the most difficult teachers years in memory.”

During a press conference on Tuesday, KFOR asked the Secretary of Education, Ryan Walters, if putting standardized testing on hold for the 2021 school year would be considered.

“The testing at the end of the semester is going to be very important. We have to know where our students are. That’s not meant as anything that’s punitive to the schools, but we got to know where the kids are,” Walters said. “We’ve got to know how well our students are learning, where they are at in relation to other states. We have to have that data. I believe it’s essential that we have that data to see where our students are.”

“If our state leaders are not going to take initiative to stop standardized testing this year, the we definitely need, as parents, to create the wave for that to happen,” Bonebreak said.

Continued Coronavirus Coverage

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