Due to the pandemic, and the fact that schools across the nation were closed, Betsy DeVos raced to catch up and canceled federally mandated tests this past spring.

But, she warned, don’t expect a waiver from testing next spring!

Just because the nation’s schools are in turmoil and are uncertain about whether and when to resume in-person is no reason to ease up on the Big Stabdardized Tests!

The good news is that if we all turn out to vote in November, Betsy will be out of the Department of Education and back in one of her ten yachts.

The bad news is that some Democrats in Congress can’t wait to start the testing again.

If we fail to assess students, it will have a lasting effect for years to come,” DeVos wrote. “Not only will vulnerable students fall behind, but we will be abandoning the important, bipartisan reforms of the past two decades at a critical moment.”

DeVos’ letter cites a request from a broad coalition of groups calling on the Trump administration to enforce federal testing requirements, including the Center for American Progress, the National Urban League, the Education Trust and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The Council of Chief State School Officers also pushed for assessments in the coming academic year, saying it is “more important than ever” to measure student learning and identify potential gaps during the pandemic.

DeVos’ announcement won rare praise from congressional Democrats.

Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.), chair of the House Education and Labor Committee, said he appreciated DeVos’ decision. “There is no question that the COVID-19 pandemic is having severe consequences for students’ growth and achievement, particularly for our most vulnerable students,” he said in a statement. “We cannot begin to address these consequences, unless we fully understand them.”

Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the top Democrat on the Senate education committee, also emphasized the importance of assessments required by federal law. “Especially when it comes to the disparities that harm so many students of color, students with disabilities and students whose families have low incomes, we’ve got to have data that shows us where we’re falling short so we can better support those students,” she said.

Both Scott and Murray said Congress needs to provide more funding to help schools safely reopen, avoid teacher layoffs and provide services to students during the pandemic.”

The only sane voice in the Edweek article was that of Randi Weingarten.

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, blasted DeVos’ announcement, saying the education secretary should be focused on helping safely reopen schools, rather than “issuing a dictate on how to measure them.”

“Instead of focusing on the supports our kids need to get back to school safely, or what she can do to help, her first missive to the field is to tell them she is maintaining high stakes testing,” Weingarten said in a statement. “Of course accountability has a role, as does data, but right now educators and students are struggling with the daily realities of remote learning and returning to a potentially unsafe working environment.”

She is more in touch with the schools than any of the D.C. bigwigs or neoliberal think tankers.