ACCOUNTABILITY & SCHOOL IDENTIFICATION
States can now apply for a new waiver request for the 2020-2021 school year in relation to the accountability and school identification requirements in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).
A state receiving this waiver would not be required to implement and report the results of its accountability system, including calculating progress toward long-term goals and measurements of interim progress or indicators, or to annually meaningfully differentiate among its public schools using data from the 2020-2021 school year.
This flexibility would explicitly include waiving the requirement that the Academic Achievement indicator be adjusted to account for a participation rate below 95 percent.
The state would also not be required to identify schools for comprehensive support and improvement (CSI), targeted support and improvement (TSI), and additional targeted support and improvement (ATSI) based on data from the 2020-2021 school year.
Each state receiving the accountability and school identification waivers would be required to continue to support previously identified schools in the 2021-2022 school year, resume school identification in the fall of 2022, and ensure transparency to parents and the public.
The intent of both sets of flexibilities is to focus on assessments providing information to parents, educators, and the public about student performance and to help target resources and supports. For that reason, blanket waivers of assessments are not being implemented.
A state should use the Assessment flexibility to consider:
Administering a shortened version of its statewide assessments
Offering remote administration, where feasible; and/or
Extending the testing window to the greatest extent practicable. That could include offering multiple testing windows and/or extending the testing window into the summer or even the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year.
States that elect to extend testing windows should also consider how they can make results available to the public in a timely manner after assessments are administered.
The American Rescue Plan, proposed by President Biden, calls for $130 billion in funding to help schools safely reopen and meet the unique needs students and educators are facing during the pandemic, including supporting the academic, social, and emotional needs of students.
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