Standardized tests won’t be enforced this school year because of coronavirus

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President Donald Trump speaks during a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House, Friday, March 20, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

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(CNN) — In years past, the end of the year has meant one thing for students: standardized tests.

But due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, schools won’t enforce those tests, President Donald Trump said.

“With many schools closed due to the virus, the Department of Education will not enforce standardized testing requirements, very importantly, for students in elementary through high school for the current year,” Trump said Friday. “They’ve been through a lot. They’ve been going back and forth, schools open, schools not open … We’re not going to be enforcing that.”

The announcement echoes statements from the Department of Education, which detailed the procedure for waiving standardized testing in a news release earlier Friday.

Schools affected by closures due to the coronavirus can forgo the typically required standardized testing, the release said. Following a “proper request,” the department will grant waivers to states impacted.

“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,” Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said in a statement. “Neither students nor teachers need to be focused on high-stakes tests during this difficult time. Students are simply too unlikely to be able to perform their best in this environment.”

Student loan payments have been suspended, with interest rates set to zero, during the pandemic.

The news comes as the number of coronavirus infections continues to rise in the US. On Friday, Gov. Gavin Newsom put all of California on lockdown. In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo told all non-essential workers to stay home.

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