State official argues against MSA cancellation

ANNAPOLIS — A Maryland education official struck back against a bill that would try to cancel most standardized testing in public schools this spring. He said it would keep teachers in suspension for the next few weeks, unsure about what to plan for.

He also suspects skipping the tests would cost Maryland tens of millions of federal dollars — more than it would save in test administration fees.

Jack Smith, the state’s chief academic officer, was defending his case before skeptical lawmakers Wednesday at the House Ways and Means Committee. Several suggested canceling the tests might be best for the students, as it would free classroom time.

The Maryland School Assessments have not kept pace with curriculum changes, and Del. Eric Luedtke wants the state to look into options for canceling them.