NCES Cancels the 2021 Nation’s Report Card
This week, the National Center for Educational Statistics officially postponed the Nation’s Report Card—a set of annual tests in core subjects of reading, math, science, and writing—until 2022.
According to the NCES Commissioner James Woodworth, the uncertainty and variations in schooling patterns introduced by the COVID-19 pandemic have made impossible to conduct the assessment “in a manner with sufficient validity and reliability to meet the mandate of the law.”
Since distance learning makes in-person testing infeasible, students, teachers, and policymakers will lack student-level data from this academic year to inform decision making and illustrate the effect of the pandemic on students’ learning loss.
In light of this lack of data, the two leading democrats on the House and Senate Education Committees have emphasized the importance of statewide assessments and have encouraged the U.S. Department of Education to find alternate ways for states to maximize student participation.