FREDERICK COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — The Maryland Board of Education is seeking a waiver to spend less time on standardized tests this school year and instead administer a shortened diagnostic state assessment in the fall.
State Superintendent Dr. Karen Salmon said, “One of my priorities for children coming back to school was really the social-emotional aspects of being back in school. And I think that’s going to have to still be paramount in September because there will be more kids coming back than are back now.”
In statements, The Maryland State Education Association and Frederick County Public Schools applauded the board’s decision.
FCPS Board President Jay Mason wrote, “This is the right move for our students, teachers, and staff. We are pleased that our advocacy was successful.”
MSEA wrote, “Educators understand that what our students need right now isn’t mandated standardized testing, but instructional time, opportunities to learn and be with their classmates, and time to address their social-emotional wellbeing and any trauma caused by the pandemic.”
The elected teacher member on the board Rachel McCusker was the only “no” vote and her reasoning was for Maryland to take advantage of furthered waivers offered by the federal government to allow for more reductions
McCusker said, “I’m concerned that when we come back in the fall, we’re still gonna have students who are still home now, and will not have been in a school building for a year and a half.”