WESTMINSTER, Colo. (CBS4) — The Superintendent of Schools in Westminster is urging the state of Colorado to get rid of standardized testing this spring, citing a need to give students more time for education rather than examination.
Superintendent Pamela Swanson said her district is already aware of significant delays in education across all ages and believes it isn’t necessary to have testing to prove what’s already know.
“We don’t need tests to tell us that our kids have lost some learning,” Swanson told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas. “I think the Colorado Department of Education made a wise decision last spring, given the pandemic that was going on, to suspend testing. And we believe that needs to happen this spring, too.”
Swanson said 30% of students in Westminster Public Schools are still doing complete remote learning. While some have adapted well to the schooling at home, others are clearly falling behind.
“It’s been in and out. It’s been rocky and bumpy,” Swanson said. “I don’t see how it is even going to be comparable.”
Standardized tests can often help districts know where there is a need for more focused learning. However, Swanson said the district is already aware of the places they need to work. And, by the time the results are returned in late-fall the district hopes to have the raised concerns already addressed.
“I think that’s the thing that is funny. You call it a standardized test, but nothing is standard this year,” said Christine Martinez, a school board director.
Martinez, the parent of a 9 year old in the district, said most parents she spoke with are not in favor of standardized testing.
“I don’t want to spend time for a test to know my child is behind. I know that,” Martinez said.
Martinez and Swanson both believed students would be better served as a whole if lengthy testing days were replaced with more education time.
“The time that needs to be spent is teaching, not testing,” Martinez said.
Martinez and Swanson also said they felt standardized testing was archaic, saying COVID-19 just exposed their already-set beliefs.
The district approved a motion to formally request the state to reconsider testing in 2021.
“Most parents I speak with don’t want testing right now,” Martinez said. “This year I don’t think it makes sense.”