The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) submitted a letter on Friday, March 12, to U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, calling on him to reconsider the Department of Education’s February decision to continue requiring states to conduct annual assessments and, instead, provide a blanket federal waiver for the 2020–21 school year standardized testing requirement.

“As a principal, I see firsthand that many of our students are lacking the basics of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs during this pandemic,” said Robert Motley, president of the NASSP Board of Directors and principal of Atholton High School in Columbia, MD. “Now is not the time to be making high-stakes decisions based on a single test score. State tests will only create more disruptions to our students’ learning and our educators’ teaching, resulting in even less instructional time for our students who need it the most.”

“Any testing this school year should be for the purposes of informing instruction at the school level only,” said Ronn Nozoe, CEO of NASSP. “Secretary Cardona has called for supporting our students during this challenging time and we agree. Pausing high-stakes testing will provide the relief our students and educators need at this time, along with the space to effectively focus on a safe and swift return to in-person learning.”