U.S. Department of Education says states can skip standardized tests

    U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos pressured schools to reopen, and President Donald Trump threatened to withhold funding from schools that don't fully reopen. Getty Images

    As schools across the country cancel classes and move instruction online, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced Friday that states will be able to bypass standardized testing. 

    States can request a waiver to skip standardized testing for this academic year, according to a news release. The move comes after Michigan state officials urged DeVos to issue national waivers. 

    “Students need to be focused on staying healthy and continuing to learn. Teachers need to be able to focus on remote learning and other adaptations,” DeVos said in the statement. “Neither students nor teachers need to be focused on high-stakes tests during this difficult time.”

    In Minnesota, Gov. Tim Walz announced Sunday that schools statewide would close beginning March 17 and going through at least March 27. Schools can take this time to prepare for remote learning should it be necessary. 

    Madeline Deninger
    Madeline Deninger is a junior at the University of Minnesota. She covers for politics and state government for Minnesota Reformer as a Kaufman Fellow. She currently serves as city editor of the university's campus newspaper, Minnesota Daily. She's also worked at WCCO-TV and American Public Media.