In Light of COVID-19, DOE Considers One-Year Waivers of ESSA Assessment Requirements

In Light of COVID-19, DOE Considers One-Year Waivers of ESSA Assessment Requirements

March 12, 2020

The Department of Education (DOE) released guidance last week for schools closing in response to the spread of COVID-19. As more schools implement a minimum two-week closure, DOE says “it will consider providing states with one-year waivers of assessment requirements” mandated under ESSA. Specifically, DOE is considering “waiving for states the 95% assessment participation rate…which is factored into academic achievement calculations, in addition to excluding chronic absenteeism rates from accountability reports.” DOE also recommends schools “consider adjusting or extending testing windows” and, for schools offering remote learning, the agency stresses that “equal access to the same opportunities” must be made available for students with disabilities.