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Schools must test, Biden administration says. Will opt out follow?

A roundup of Florida education news from around the state.
The federal government announced it will not waive its requirement for annual standardized tests this year. [Associated Press]
The federal government announced it will not waive its requirement for annual standardized tests this year. [Associated Press] [ Associated Press ]
Published Feb. 23
Updated Feb. 23

There’s been an ongoing debate about whether students should sit for annual assessments this year, or if they should be canceled again because of the pandemic. On the one hand, critics argue the tests can’t be valid, as the school year has been anything but standard for children. On the other, advocates say the scores can help educators determine which students need extra attention. One side appears to be coming out on top. Read on for the latest on that story and other education news.

The tests must go on. The Biden Administration announced Monday that it will not waive annual standardized test requirements this year, Chalkbeat reports. Schools won’t be held accountable for the results, it added. Read the administration’s memo to chief state school officers for more details.

The administration said the tests could be given remotely. In Florida, plans are to have students test in-person only. To prepare, the Duval County school district will cancel its remote progress monitoring tests for third quarter, WJXT reports. One Duval dad whose family has locked down during the pandemic isn’t having any of it, WTLV reports.

Some families are preparing to opt out. That’s if they can’t convince officials to reconsider and cancel the exams, WFLA reports.

Coronavirus concerns

In-person prom and graduation remain high on seniors’ wish lists. They don’t want a repeat of what happened to the Class of 2020. Tampa-area school officials will have a better idea whether these activities can happen after monitoring virus cases from spring break.

Schools have rules for dealing with coronavirus cases. Right? University of Florida faculty have concerns that students are allowed on campus despite being exposed to someone who has tested positive, WUFT reports. • Broward County teachers rallied to highlight their complaints with their district’s coronavirus protocols, WFOR reports.

Field trips aren’t a thing during the pandemic. Some Martin County schools have solved that situation by bringing the field trips to them, WPEC reports.

In other school news

Some students with disabilities can get individualized education plans to help them after high school. Two Florida lawmakers want to improve the system, Florida Politics reports.

Military families have raised concerns with the Escambia County schools their children attend. District officials say they’re making progress in improving the schools with input from the families, the Pensacola News-Journal reports.

From the police blotter ... A Duval County teacher was arrested on accusations of soliciting sex from a student, the Florida Times-Union reports.

Don’t miss a story. Yesterday’s roundup is just a click away.

Before you go ... In honor of Black History Month, recognize Florida A&M University, one of the state’s historically Black universities. It put together this short video compilation, with the words of a Maya Angelou poem in accompaniment. Together we rise.

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Black History Month

"Now she is rising remember her pain remember the losses her screams loud and vain remember her riches her history slain now she is striding although she has lain." - Maya Angelou Together, we rise. #BlackHistoryMonth

Posted by Florida A&M University on Sunday, February 21, 2021