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CMS battle to get federally required in-person tests waived continues as COVID-19 cases rise

Updated: Nov. 23, 2020 at 5:39 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The growing number of coronavirus cases across Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools comes as the disrict continues to battle the United States Department of Education over whether or not students should return for required end of semester in person testing.

“Are we doing it because it’s actually going to make a difference,” asked CMS teacher Steve Oreskovic.

Oreskovic is one of the many teachers whos told WBTV he’s worried about federally required in-person testing come the end of this semester.

“Is there really something there, again during a pandemic, that we really need to go back and take these tests to prove,” asked Oreskovic.

The battle comes as CMS reports an increase in its positive student and staff COVID cases.

The district reports 30 students and 60 new staff positives cases.

Seventy-six schools have reported at least one or more positive COVID-19 cases in the last 14 days.

CMS says bringing students back into the classrooms, many of which have been fully remote up until that point, isn’t worth risking student or staff health; over a test.

“They should waive it right now, based on what we know today, as they did in March and April of this year for last year’s exams,” said Intergovernmental Relations Chair for CMS Charles Jeter.

CMS recently wrote a letter the United State Department of Education asking to waive these in-person federal and state tests.

“It is a federal requirement for these tests, that’s why CMS requested that waiver,” said North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper during a Monday press briefing.

“I have concerns about that [testing] as well,” he said.

The WBTV Education Reporter asked Cooper if his administration has any plans to directly request a waiver from federal officials, but he didn’t give a clear answer.

“The state board of education is looking at ways to try and deal with this and they’re working on this issue,” responded Cooper.

At last check, CMS says they have not heard back from the US Department of Education on their request to waive those federal tests.

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