U.S. Department of Education Sends Letter to Chief State School Officers
On Monday, the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education within the U.S. Department of Education provided guidance to all Chief State School Officers regarding assessment, accountability, and reporting requirements for the 2020-2021 school year.
The letter emphasizes President Biden’s desire to safely re-open schools and provide accurate assessments of educational progress, but recognizes that safety during the pandemic must always take precedence. The letter also includes three updates to assessment, accountability, and reporting:
- First, the Department will allow states to request waivers for the accountability and school identification requirements outlined in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.
- Second, it will continue to require states to publish report card requirements with data disaggregated by student subgroup.
- Third, the Department will allow for flexibility in statewide assessments including extending the testing window as far as into the summer, shortening exams, and administering exams virtually to the extent that option is available. However, the letter emphasizes that full waivers of assessments will not be issued.