Feds consider assessment accountability waivers in coronavirus closures

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The U.S. Department of Education released guidance recently for schools to navigate closures amid the spread of novel coronavirus. With more schools expected to close for a minimum of 14 days, the department is saying it will consider providing states with one-year waivers of assessment requirements under the ESSA if they have been impacted by the pandemic’s “extraordinary circumstances.”

Specifically, the department says it will consider waiving for states the 95% assessment participation rate required under ESEA, which is factored into academic achievement calculations, in addition to excluding chronic absenteeism rates from accountability reports. Other areas of accountability impacted by COVID-19 could also be considered for waivers. The department suggests schools consider adjusting or extending testing windows.

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