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Governor Newsom Issues Executive Order to Suspend Standardized Testing for Students in Response to COVID-19 Outbreak

Published: Mar 18, 2020 from the Office of the Governor Gavin Newsom

SACRAMENTO – To reduce the strain on students, families and educators during the COVID-19 outbreak, Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order today to waive, pending federal approval, this year’s statewide testing for California’s more than 6 million students in K-12 schools.

“This time is stressful enough for students, families and educators without the additional burden of annual testing,” said Governor Newsom. “This is an unprecedented time, and our main focus is on supporting the mental and socio-emotional health of students, while continuing to provide educational opportunities such as distance learning.”

“I appreciate the Governor’s leadership here and recognizing that under the current circumstances, the last thing our students need is to be confronted with a test,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond. “Our districts need some relief and this decision is in the best interest of our students and our state.”

“As schools are struggling to maintain instruction, feed students, and provide child care, they need to focus first and foremost on these pressing responsibilities,” said California State Board of Education President Linda Darling-Hammond. “The safety and well-being of children and staff has to be our No. 1 concern. We do not want concerns about testing to distract them from their critical work at this time of national emergency.”

The Governor’s full executive order can be found here.

Statewide Testing

California students take several mandated statewide tests. These tests provide parents/guardians, teachers, and educators with information about how well students are learning and becoming college and career ready. The test results may be used for local, state, and federal accountability purposes.

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