Newtown education officials are seeking permission to skip the Connecticut Mastery Test this year, because of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

Newtown Board of Education Chair Debbie Leidlein says she does not want to hurt the students and teachers by heaping on more pressure.

“Testing causes anxiety,” Leidlein said. “But we already have a lot of anxiety, and to add on to that anxiety for both the students and teachers at this time…  I just don’t know what the outcome of that would be.”

But Board of Education member Richard Gaines argued that in the spirit of normalcy, and for teacher evaluations, the tests should be given.

“I have heard the complaints about the CMT’s for years, but we do it, and we do it, and we do it,” Gaines said.

Newtown Superintendent of Schools Janet Robinson says most school administrators would favor skipping the tests, but she says there could be unintended consequences.

“If we do not have this data, and we need to have some data, than the first two weeks of the school year next year, we may have to have some kind of standardized test so that we have some kind of data upon which to measure student outcomes,” Robinson said.

The test is administered in grades three through eight.


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