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Maine Endwell School District reacts to State Department of Education’s request to waive assessment exams

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(WBNG) -- As the pandemic persists, New York State is asking for a federal waiver to get rid of mandatory testing for this school year.

While the school year may have just resumed in session, the State Department of Education is looking ahead to the Spring.

The Department is looking for approval from the federal government to waive mandatory, standardized tests for elementary, middle, and high school students for the school year.

Here in Broome County, Superintendent Jason Van Fossen of Maine Endwell, says he is in favor of the request, saying it's something he anticipated and hoped for.

"I think it's smart. I think given the circumstances, it would ease a lot of pressure from faculty, students and parents," said Van Fossen.

Standardized tests are already a complex issue pre pandemic, says Van Fossen, adding, that now, with the the addition of remote learning and a non linear school structure, it's hard to asses where students are really at.

He also says that it's been challenging time for teachers to navigate, as they want to give their students more attention but also have to focus on teaching the standardized test curriculum.

Fifth grade teacher, Taylor Norton, says there is a concern about how much students retain.

"The biggest concern for us teachers this year would be the equity issue, so basically where kids have come from since last March, really," says Norton.

Norton adds that because of changes in the school structure since last year, there is no guarantee that all kids are getting the same access to school and learning.

Van Fossen adds that he hopes the district finds out the decision soon, so that they can prepare for the rest of the school year.

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