DETROIT - Michigan's latest surge in coronavirus cases is complicating Detroit public school's return to in-person learning, which could mean an uncertain schedule for standardized testing.
Detroit Public Schools Community District originally made the call to extend remote learning by two weeks after the district’s week-long Spring Break holiday due to a rapid infection rate in the state.
Students would have returned to class on April 19 to prevent further community spread between staff and kids. But ahead of a call from the governor for districts to go remote on Friday, Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti decided to delay in-person learning until April 26.
Now, that pause could have consequences for standardized testing, which has now been pushed to the last week in April. In a statement released by Vitti, he said:
"The federal government requires that we provide students the opportunity to test. We believe students should have that option, and some students would like to test, especially high school students for the PSAT/SAT. We will start offering this opportunity at the end of April."
The U.S. Department of Education denied Michigan’s request to waive standardized testing for this school year earlier this month. The state originally had requested a waiver due to the disruption that students experienced during their curriculum because of the pandemic.
But the USDOE said that students will need to take those tests regardless, according to the Michigan Department of Education.
This is the second straight year that Michigan has requested a waiver for standardized testing such as the M-STEP and SAT. State education officials instead wanted to focus on other metrics for academic progress and support students emotionally during a disrupted academic year. Last school year, the federal agency waived standardized testing for the state.
Vitti sent a note home to parents telling them students will still have an opportunity to participate in Michigan’s state assessments at school including the College Board SAT with Essay and PSAT and other state-provided assessments like the M-STEP, MI-Access, and ACT.
The district tells FOX 2 testing must happen at school and can not be performed remotely.
Here’s the list of tentatively scheduled test dates provided by the District. Contact DPSCD for questions.
- SAT with Essay (11th Grade) Initial Test Date - April 27 Accommodated Testing Window - April 27 - 29 Makeup Test Date - May 18 Makeup Accommodated Testing Window* - May 18 - 20
- Initial Test Date - April 27
- Accommodated Testing Window - April 27 - 29
- Makeup Test Date - May 18
- Makeup Accommodated Testing Window* - May 18 - 20
- ACT WorkKeys (11th Grade) Initial Test Date - April 28 Accommodated Testing Window* - April 28 - May 4 Makeup Test Date - May 5 Makeup Accommodated Testing Window* - May 5 - 11
- Initial Test Date - April 28
- Accommodated Testing Window* - April 28 - May 4
- Makeup Test Date - May 5
- Makeup Accommodated Testing Window* - May 5 - 11
- PSAT (8th, 9th, and 10th Grade) Test Window* - April 27 - May 7 Accommodated Testing Window* - April 26 - May 7
- Test Window* - April 27 - May 7
- Accommodated Testing Window* - April 26 - May 7
- MSTEP and MI-Access (3rd - 8th and 11th Grade) M-STEP Grades 5, 8, and 11 Test Window* - April 26 - May 21 M-STEP Grades 3, 4, 6, and 7 Test Window* - April 26 - June 4 MI-Access Test Window* - April 26 - June 4
- M-STEP Grades 5, 8, and 11 Test Window* - April 26 - May 21
- M-STEP Grades 3, 4, 6, and 7 Test Window* - April 26 - June 4
- MI-Access Test Window* - April 26 - June 4
* School schedules specific date(s) within allotted windows.
Vitti is expected to revisit the April 26 date for returning to in-person learning at a later time. The district says that a scheduling change is contingent on coronavirus infection rates and other data
If he does extend remote learning, it's unclear how the testing schedule will change and what impact that might have on state testing requirements and deadlines.
The Associated Press contributed to this report