Department of Education will waive standardized testing this school year due to coronavirus outbreak

WASHINGTON -- The Department of Education will allow students to bypass standardized testing requirements for the current school year as the country copes with the coronavirus outbreak.

In a news release, the department said Friday that states unable to assess students can apply to have those requirements waived. States can also apply to have temporarily waived the requirement that testing data be used in the statewide accountability system.

"Students need to be focused on staying healthy and continuing to learn. Teachers need to be able to focus on remote learning and other adaptations. Neither students nor teachers need to be focused on high-stakes tests during this difficult time. Students are simply too unlikely to be able to perform their best in this environment," U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said in a news release.

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President Donald Trump added in a news conference Friday morning that students have already been through a lot with schools opening and closings.

He said his administration also has temporarily waived all interest on federally held student loans and he says he's directed DeVos to tell federal lenders to allow borrowers to suspend their student loans and loan payments without penalty for at least the next 60 days.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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