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Taking state-mandated tests is a stressful experience for many students. For some full- time virtual school students, this stress is magnified exponentially as many states require public school students to travel to testing sites across the state to test in a face-to-face setting.
This requirement also places an undue burden on the student’s family, as parents and caregivers are required to take time off of work and arrange for childcare for their other children in order to accompany their student to the test.
In rural areas, the nearest testing facility may be several hours away, requiring families to stay in a hotel or drive long distance.
Multi-child families may also be required to make several trips to testing facilities based on each child’s testing schedule.
Beyond the logistical nightmare placed on some families, students with disabilities, health or medical issues face unique challenges associated with testing in person. Care might need to be delayed, or special accommodations that the student needs may not be provided.
These challenges are just a few of the reasons why it’s imperative that states adopt a testing model that allows students to take high-stakes testing in the setting in which they are most comfortable.
Provides virtual students with a level playing field, ensuring that their educational assessments are not hindered by geographical or logistical constraints. Eliminates the need for students to travel to a physical testing center, which can be particularly challenging for those in remote or underserved areas.
Virtual students are often more accustomed to online learning environments, making online testing a more familiar and comfortable experience for them.
The flexibility of online testing accommodates a variety of learning styles and needs, allowing students to perform at their best.
Research conducted by the Education Freedom Institute revealed that “allowing virtual school students to test at home better captures student learning and shows substantially higher measured academic achievement.”
Teachers use secure technology and web-based conferencing tools to live proctor state-mandated tests remotely to students.
Safeguards and procedures are in place to ensure a safe and secure testing environment, that complies with all state and federal laws.
Full-time virtual public school students in California, Idaho, Iowa and Oregon have all been permitted to take state-mandated tests remotely. Starting in the 2023-24 school year, virtual school students in Arkansas, Kansas and West Virginia will be permitted to take their tests remotely, and Virginia will also allow full-time virtual students to take their twice per year state-mandated growth assessment tests remotely.
Remote testing is commonly used in other high stakes tests, including the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT), Praxis teaching certification exams, GRE exams and College Level Examination Program (CLEP).
Students aren’t the only ones required to travel on testing days – teachers also must travel to testing sites to serve as proctors during testing season. Every day they spend traveling means they are unable to teach, resulting in many days of lost instruction time every testing season.