(Washington, D.C.)–Chair Patty Murray (D-WA), Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, and Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03), House Committee on Education and Labor, released the following statement on the importance of statewide assessments. Statewide data is valuable because it offers valid, reliable, and comparable measures of student achievement so parents know if their children are learning.
“Despite the tireless efforts of students, parents, and educators, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on students’ education. The consequences of lost classroom time have been particularly severe for our most marginalized students, including students from families with low incomes, students with disabilities, English learners, and students of color.
“We must do everything in our power to make up for lost learning time and address achievement gaps that have been exacerbated by the pandemic—and that starts by understanding the scope of the problem. We know that this is an incredibly challenging time for students and educators—and that we need to provide states with certain flexibilities in addition to providing school districts with the resources they need to recover. Statewide assessments are important to identify what extra support schools need to help their students get back on track and to ensure every student has an equitable opportunity to succeed.
“Our commitment is firm that the Department of Education must ensure educators and policymakers have as much statewide data as possible to ensure that support and resources are directed to schools and students who need it most. The statewide data under the Every Student Succeeds Act and the education funding provided under the American Rescue Plan provides a blueprint for the safe reopening of schools, protection of students and staff, and helping students get recover their learning.”
Following an announcement that former Secretary of Education postponed the 2021 administration of the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) in November, Chairs Murray and Scott released a statement calling statewide assessments a “moral imperative.”