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Photo: Erin Scott/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Department of Education told states on Monday that they must resume standardized testing of students this spring after it was suspended a year ago because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: The decision to resume testing means schools will have to find a way to tests to tens of millions of students, many of whom are still learning remotely, according to Chalkbeat.

Federal law requires states to annually test students and publicly report the results.

  • The results are sometimes used to hold low-scoring schools accountable, but this year they will be used "a source of information for parents and educators to target resources and support, rather than for accountability purposes this year," the department said.
  • The department is allowing states to move assessments to the summer or fall, to give the assessment remotely and to shorten the test to prioritize in-person learning time.

What they're saying: "The Department of Education is committed to supporting all states in assessing student learning during the pandemic to help target resources and support to the students with the greatest needs," said Ian Rosenblum, acting assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education.

The big picture: Multiple states, including California, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey and New York, have already asked for or are planning to request a waiver from this year’s testing requirements, according to Chalkbeat.

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Feb 23, 2021 - Technology

Exclusive: New plan to expand online education for U.S. workers

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

2U, a major provider of remote college and professional training, is partnering with a company that works on education reimbursement to expand online schooling opportunities for U.S. workers, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: American workers need help affordably reskilling for the age of automation, but existing higher education opportunities often leave them unprepared and laden with debt. The new partnership aims to take advantage of remote education to meet workers where they are, with what they need.

1 hour ago - World

U.S. and NATO answer Putin in writing while bracing for Ukraine invasion

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. Photo: Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency via Getty

The U.S. and NATO provided Russia with written proposals on Wednesday to advance a "diplomatic path forward," even as they warned that Russia could invade Ukraine within days.

Why it matters: This is a delicate diplomatic balancing act. The U.S. and NATO want to show they're serious about diplomacy but unwilling to compromise on "core principles" — all without providing Vladimir Putin with an additional pretext for escalation.

The political leanings of the Supreme Court justices

Data: Martin-Quinn scores; Chart: Axios Visuals

The Supreme Court will continue to have a solid conservative majority even with Justice Stephen Breyer's retirement.

How to read the chart: An analysis by political scientists Andrew Martin and Kevin Quinn, known as the Martin-Quinn Score, places judges on an ideological spectrum. A lower score indicates a more liberal justice, whereas a higher score indicates a more conservative justice.