Tennessee lawmaker calls to cancel high stakes testing, teacher evaluations amid pandemic


FILE (Photo by CESAR MANSO/AFP via Getty Images)

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WKRN) — Tennessee congressman Mark Green is calling for the state to cancel high stakes testing and teacher evaluations due to unforeseen challenges educators are facing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“To treat this school year like any other by requiring high stakes testing and teacher evaluations would force an unnecessary burden on educators and students alike,” Green, a Republican representing a portion of Middle Tennessee in the U.S. House of Representatives, said in a statement Monday. “We should acknowledge these challenges, cancel high stakes testing, and devote resources to ensuring students can learn safely and effectively in person.”

This recommendation comes weeks after the Tennessee Department of Education announced major projected learning losses and proficiency levels for students across the state. Some of those estimates included a 50% decrease in proficiency in 3rd grade reading and a projected 65% decrease in proficiency in 3rd grade mathematics.

“These one-size-fits-all mandates overlook the challenges of the pandemic and divert resources that could instead be used to close the learning loss gap,” Rep. Green’s statement continued. “I urge both our State and Federal governments to immediately address this distraction from the classroom and cancel high stakes testing and teacher evaluations for the 2020-2021 school year.”

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