Joe Biden needs to have a talk with his policy director Stef Feldman. During the campaign, Biden made specific commitments to reduce the mandates for standardized testing and to reduce the stakes attached to testing. But Stef Feldman met with the Education Writers Association and she didn’t seem to know anything about what Biden had repeatedly said about the misuse and overuse of standardized testing. She said the question should be left to the transition team and the new administration. What?

Feldman refused to commit to granting waivers to the states to bypass the federal mandate for annual testing in spring 2021. DeVos granted waivers in 2020 after almost every school closed down due to the pandemic but said she would not do it again in spring 2021 (hopefully by then she will be back in one of her mansions or on one of her yachts).

It is now late October and the pandemic is still surging. Why not grant universal waivers to the states so that teachers can continue to do the best they can without regard to the blasted standardized tests?

This is survival time, not testing time. We are indeed being “tested,” but this test is not standardized. Our students, our teachers, our principals and our superintendents are being tested to figure out how to educate children, how to feed them, how to give them the computers they need, how to care for their social and emotional needs in the midst of a once-in-a-century pandemic. Some have lost family members. Some have families that have no jobs, no income, no food. Standardized tests based on a year like this? Are you serious, Stef Feldman?

Joe Biden, come to the rescue and tell Stef Feldman what you have been telling teachers across the country since your campaign started.

Let’s help elect Joe Biden, then make sure, relentlessly, that he keeps the promises he made to the students and educators of America.