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Department of Education says Michigan schools must administer standardized testing

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 07: Binasa Musovic (L), an educational paraprofessional and Chris Frank, a teacher at Yung Wing School P.S. 124, teach blended learning students during the first day back to school on December 07, 2020 at Yung Wing School P.S. 124 in New York City. Students whose parents opted for blended learning returned to school today after all were shut down on November 18 when New York City had reached a citywide positivity rate of three percent of all coronavirus tests performed over a seven-day period. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

Schools across Michigan will have to administer standardized testing for the 2020-2021 school year despite the pandemic.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) sent a letter to the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) denying the state's request to waive standardized testing for the year.

RELATED LINK: Michigan asks for a waiver of standardized testing for 2021

The denial comes about two months after the state requested waivers to federal requirements for both the tests and other associated high-stakes accountability requirements. Accountability waivers were approved by USED in March.

RELATED LINK: Feds waive Michigan's 2020-21 school accountability demands

With the decision, school districts will have to administer the tests as scheduled, including:

  • MSTEP for students in grades 3-8
  • PSAT 8/9 for students in 8th grade
  • MME, which includes the SAT, for students in 11th grade
  • MI-ACCESS for students receiving special education services in grades 3-8 and 11
  • WIDA for students in English learner programs in grades K-12

The state education department can revise its waiver request to meet standards and resubmit it.

If it chooses to do so, the MDE must do so no later than 60 days from April 6, 2021.

The Michigan Education Association says it was surprised by this decision.

Spokesperson David Crim says they were expecting things to go in the state's favor.

Watch the clip below to find out why, and hear from Crim and Bay City Superintendent Stephen Bigelow about their thoughts on the upcoming M-STEP testing:


Another portion of that standardized testing waiver the Michigan Department of Education requested was regarding the SAT.

Here’s what high school students need to know when it comes to those college admission tests:

Reporter Lia Kamana spoke with Nicole Bozick - Director of Counseling at Fusion Global Academy - about the challenges high schoolers are facing during the pandemic.

Watch Lia's full interview with Bozick below for some tips and advice for high schoolers to get college ready.

Bozick's biggest piece of advice:

"Work with professionals who you trust who can guide you through this process. Even if it’s having a college counselor who is there to set you up, here is the schools you are looking at, here’s what their testing policy is, here’s a deadline I recommend you apply and take your test and get your essays in, just to kind of help lay that foundation, you’d be surprised how much stress that takes off of you."

Fusion Global Academy is an online private school for students in grades 6-12 located anywhere in the country.

According to Bozick, all classes are one student to one teacher so each student gets direct instruction.

Fusion Global Academy also offers tutoring and college counseling services to non-students. You can learn more by clicking the appropriate link below: