Kentucky to apply for testing waiver from U.S. Department of Education

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U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced March 20 that students impacted by school closures due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic can bypass standardized testing for the 2019-2020 school year.
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced March 20 that students impacted by school closures due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic can bypass standardized testing for the 2019-2020 school year.
Photo by Bobby Ellis, Jan. 24, 2017

(FRANKFORT, KY) – U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced March 20 that students impacted by school closures due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic can bypass standardized testing for the 2019-2020 school year. The Kentucky Department of Education will submit a waiver by the close of business on Monday, March 23.

“We are very clear eyed about the fact that students and families, teachers and school leaders across America are facing unprecedented disruption in their learning and their lives,” DeVos said in a conference call March 20.

Frank Brogan, assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education at the U.S. Department of Education (USED), said the approval for the waivers is expected to be completed in as little as one business day.

“We’ve been promised a quick and expedited review and approval process from USED,” Kentucky Interim Education Commissioner Kevin C. Brown said. “We have every reason to believe that our waiver request to be relieved of various federal assessment, accountability and reporting requirements will be granted.”

Since student performance, as measured by assessments, is required to be used in statewide accountability systems, any state that receives a one-year waiver also may receive a waiver from the requirement that this testing data be used in the statewide accountability system due to the national emergency.

Accountability data usually is released in the fall in Kentucky. For this year, Brown said, all federal ratings and supports will remain the same until after the next testing cycle in the spring of 2021. The list of schools qualifying for Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI), Additional Targeted Support and Improvement (ATSI) and Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI) also will stay the same.

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