MI: Accountability Waivers Approved, Though Chances Slim for More Wiggle Room on Testing
March 30, 2021
The Biden Education Department has approved requests from Michigan officials to pause a number of accountability measures amid the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic. The move was in line with flexibilities offered by the department in national guidance released in February. Federal officials are still weighing an additional request from Michigan that the state be allowed to use the data from local, benchmark tests in place of the state’s annual standardized assessment – a move opposed by many civil rights and education organizations on the grounds that the data from local assessments is, by design, not comparable and fails to shed light on structural issues across school systems. Adding to the calls for data on Michigan students’ learning during the pandemic, Dan Papineau, director of tax policy and regulatory affairs for the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, said “Without Michigan-specific data, attainable only by M-STEP assessment results, we will not be able to compare across all districts, schools and students in the state to give parents a clear picture of whether their child is on track, what degree of learning remediation is necessary and where resources are most needed to be directed.