U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced today that, based upon a proper request, the Department will grant a waiver to any state that is unable to assess its students due to the ongoing national emergency, providing relief from federally mandated testing requirements for this school year. A state unable to assess its students may seek a waiver from federal testing requirements by completing a form available from the Department. At the Secretary's direction, the Department has dramatically streamlined the application process to make it as simple as possible for state leaders who are grappling with many complex issues. Click here to review the entire media advisory.
To protect students' health and safety, a state that deems it necessary should proceed with cancelling its statewide assessments for the 2019-2020 school year. Since student performance, as measured by assessments, is required to be used in statewide accountability systems, any state that receives a one-year waiver may also receive a waiver from the requirement that this testing data be used in the statewide accountability system due to the national emergency.
The Department will continue to speak with state and local leaders to identify any additional needed flexibilities, and it remains in coordination with Congress on expanding the range of flexibilities available to the Department under law.