California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order Wednesday that would suspend standardized testing for more than 6 million students this year in K-12 schools, pending federal approval, after schools across the state closed in response to the COVID-19, colloquially known as the coronavirus, pandemic.
The order waives requirements of assessments in mathematics, English language arts and sciences but stipulates that the order must also be approved by the U.S. Department of Education to go into effect.
California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond said in a press release that he supports the governor’s decision and considers it to be “in the best interest of our students and our state.”
“This time is stressful enough for students, families and educators without the additional burden of annual testing,” Newsom said in a press release. “This is an unprecedented time. Our main focus is on supporting the mental and socioemotional health of students, while continuing to provide educational opportunities such as social distancing.”