Parents, Educators and Civil Rights Advocates Want Assessment Data to Help Student Recovery Efforts

Parents, teachers, and policy makers need a complete and objective picture of how each student is doing academically during the COVID-19 pandemic. The results of spring assessments will help educators and parents understand the impact of COVID-19 and help education leaders know how to target resources to meet the needs of all students – no matter their race, income, disability or where they live.

The Collaborative recently joined 18 other civil rights and education organizations – including the National Urban League, UnidosUS, The Education Trust, the National Center for Learning Disabilities, and the National PTA – in sending a letter to Dr. Miguel Cardona, urging him, if confirmed as Education secretary, from issuing blanket waivers that would allow states to bypass the administration of student assessments this spring.

Public support remains strong for ensuring educators and parents have reliable data:

Parent Support

The nonprofit Learning Heroes found in its Parents 2020 study that 70% of parents say that want to know what material their child has missed as a result of the pandemic and what their school plans to do to address the missed classroom time.

Educator Support

The Data Quality Campaign in June released the results of a national poll that found 89% of teachers agree that they want data about which of their students are furthest behind so that they can do their part to support students getting back on track. Also, 77% of parents agree that states should resume administration of end-of-year summative assessments in math and reading next year.

The Educators for Excellence’s “Voices from the Classroom” nationwide survey in January 2020 found that 92% of teachers support summative measures of student learning.

State Support

In Colorado, a recent poll by Keating Research finds that public support for a statewide assessment this spring to understand student learning loss is sky high, with the public supporting the need for a test by a whopping 62% – 25% margin.

Education Reform Now Advocacy released survey results in November that showed that 51% of parents surveyed in both Georgia and North Carolina and 67% of voters in Arizona supported administering assessments this spring.

The Collaborative for Student Success has additionally promoted petitions in Georgia and Arizona to urge state and federal education leaders to move forward with spring assessments so that all stakeholders have actionable data on student learning during the pandemic.

Other Public Support

In addition, prominent editorial boards from New York Times and the Washington Post have called for assessments to help measure student learning – with the New York Times noting that “given a shortage of testing data for Black, Hispanic and poor children, it could well be that these groups have fared worse in the pandemic than their white more affluent peers.”