Oklahoma’s state testing window for the current school year will start two weeks sooner and end one week later than originally planned.
The State Board of Education on Thursday approved changing the initially planned window of April 20 through May 17. Math, English language and science assessments in grades three through eight can now be started any time between April 6 and May 24.
"Giving districts more opportunities with social distancing where maybe only some of the students would be in a classroom at a time and they would need to spread that over many more days," said State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister.
Hofmeister said she is very concerned there will be setbacks and delays in students’ learning after the pandemic’s effects on the past two school years, but there’s no federal testing waiver this year, and state education officials say they need the data it provides.
Students are in a variety of learning models this school year. Oklahoma State Department of Education Office of Assessment Executive Director Christy McCreary said they’re tracking whether students have been in-person, virtual or some of both.
"And that’s definitely something that we are going to be examining when we get those state testing results to see which models have been effective, if they haven’t and what we need to do to move forward to provide the best educational system for our students," McCreary said.
The window for 11th-grade science and U.S. history assessments is also starting earlier and ending later, now running from March 18 through April 30 rather than April 1 through April 23.