Press Release

We cannot address gaps we cannot see

WASHINGTON (September 3, 2020) – “As representatives of civil rights, education, and immigration policy organizations, we agree with today’s decision by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to support the resumption of annual assessments required by the Every Student Succeeds Act for the current school year.

“We believe it is too early in the school year to make a decision to cancel in light of the critical role annual assessments serve to shine a light on educational inequities and protecting the civil rights of students of color, students from low-income backgrounds, English learners, and students with disabilities. As the multiple pandemics — including systemic racism, COVID-19, and economic uncertainty — further disrupt this school year, there is an urgency for all stakeholders, families, and teachers to understand the ongoing impact on students’ learning. A majority of parents strongly believe that states should have the means to understand how students are learning during this period, in part due to real concerns that their children are falling behind during school building closures. Of course, assessments alone will not address discriminatory systems; they must be paired with real action to address the systemic inequities they bring to light.

“The truth is that we cannot address the gaps we cannot see. It is important that states take action now to conduct additional planning, and provide direct support to students, educators and families to ensure high-quality assessments can be administered to all students, and to make certain this public health crisis does not become a generational educational crisis.”


Phil Martin, The Education Trust,, 908-601-3825

David Cruz, LULAC,, 818-689-9991

Delia Pompa, MPI, National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy,, 202-266-1928

Meghan Whittaker, National Center for Learning Disabilities,, 203-808-2512

Teresa Candori, National Urban League,, 212-558-5362

Amalia Chamorro, UnidosUS,, 415-608-7217