School districts can no longer force students to use standardized tests

KANSAS CITY, Mo.

— Schools in Kansas City and Kansas City Public Schools (KPS) can no long force students into standardized tests unless they are “required to.”

Schools can still require students to take standardized tests in certain instances but are no longer allowed to impose the same burden of proof.

“The Kansas City School District (KCSD) has the discretion to mandate that certain subjects be assessed, but that is not mandated, nor is it required to,” said Kansas Secretary of Education Mark Beall in a written statement.

“KCSDs obligation to assess all students is not to compel students to attend standardized testing.

The KCSD is simply fulfilling its responsibility to protect the health and safety of its students and all other students in the district.”

Beall also explained that the Kansas City schools system has had an active and healthy enrollment for the past four years.

In 2017, Kansas City had a school-based enrollment of 3,637 students, up from 2,636 in 2016.

Beall also pointed out that Kansas City’s KPSD had the lowest per-pupil spending in the country at $18,633, well below the national average of $19,957.

The Kansas Department of Education, which oversees the state’s public schools, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Kansas City Public School District Superintendent Tim Mascaro told KTVI that the district is in the process of evaluating how it will be able to accommodate students with disabilities.

“We are aware that we are moving in the direction of having the district utilize an online learning plan to help students meet the needs of their disability, but it will require us to be responsible for ensuring that the students who are on the plan meet their needs,” Mascario said.