Public comment sought on Kentucky’s federal testing waiver

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(FRANKFORT, KY) – The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) is seeking public comment on its request for a waiver and approval from the U.S. Department of Education (USED) to bypass standardized testing for the 2019-2020 school year.

U.S. Department of Education (USED) officials 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. KDE applied for a waiver on March 20 and was notified that its testing waiver was tentatively approved by the USED. Formal notification of this approval was received March 27.

Because student performance, as measured by assessments, is required to be used in statewide accountability systems, any state that receives a one-year waiver from testing also may receive a waiver from the requirement that the data be used in the statewide accountability system due to the national emergency. KDE included the exemption from school and district accountability and specific public reporting requirements in its waiver.

KDE notified all Kentucky public school superintendents March 24 that K-PREP testing for the 2019-2020 school year has been canceled. Interim Education Commissioner Kevin C. Brown stated all federal ratings and supports will remain the same until after the next testing cycle in spring 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. 

The waiver request and approval can be publicly accessed online. Public comments on the waiver must be received by close of business April 10. Comments may be emailed to kdecommunications@education.ky.gov or submitted to Todd Allen, Interim General Counsel, Kentucky Department of Education, 300 Sower Blvd., 5th Floor, Frankfort, KY 40601. You also may submit comments via fax at (502) 564-9321.

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