Students required to take statewide assessment in-person this spring

AZ assessment testing

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Public and charter school students are required to take statewide achievement tests in-person. The Arizona Department of Education (ADE) said the AzM2, formerly known as the AZMerit, and other statewide assessments are still scheduled for this spring.

Only the federal government has the authority to cancel the tests.

“It is a requirement by the state to test 95% of students,” said Kelli Pinkerton, the Director of Assessment and Innovative Learning for the Vail School District. “We are going to do our absolute best to get there.”

She said about 30% of students in the Vail School Distrcit still learn remotely. The district is working to give these families testing options to help them feel more safe to return to the classroom.

“What’s the best thing for you? Do you want to do weekends, afternoons, evenings? Do you want to come test during the school day? What can we do to make the situation easier for your family?,” she said.

Jennifer Buchanan’s daughter Gracie is in the Marana Unified School District. Gracie is immuno-compromised and has distanced learned through the pandemic.

“In this last year, she has left the house only a small handful of times, and that was for specialty appointments with her doctors,” Buchanan said.

She said her daughter’s health issues make it far too risky for her to take an in-person test.

“We’re given no choice on an option. That would be literally be life and death for my daughter and other families like mine, because there are several others like mine,” she said.

The timeframe for districts to administer the AzM2 was extended by ADE from four weeks to six. However, there is no option for parents to opt their child out of taking statewide assessments.

Schools will administer the test in-person on a computer or paper. Find the test dates, here.

The Tucson Unifed School District spokesperson, Karla Escamilla, said the district has put together a task force to come up with guidelines and protocols for the in-person assessments.

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