Politico highlighted three states seeking a testing waiver from the U.S. Department of Education under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) yesterday in their Morning Education daily update.
Florida, Kentucky and New Jersey are all asking federal officials for flexibility when it comes to testing in their plans under the Every Student Succeeds Act. Florida and New Jersey both want more wiggle room for a provision of the law that allows eighth-grade students enrolled in advanced math to avoid “double testing,” letting them take an advanced math test for accountability and avoid taking their grade-level test. In a waiver request, New Jersey says it wants to extend that rule to lower middle school grades, not just eighth grade. “Since so many New Jersey middle school students have been successful in advanced-level mathematics coursework, it is in the best interest of students to administer end-of-course mathematics assessments that align with students’ coursework rather than the grade-level exam,” the state says in its request.
— Florida says in its waiver request that it wants to do the same, in addition to including science tests. The state is also asking for flexibility on how it tests English-language learners. POLITICO Florida reported early last month that the state wants an expansive waiver from federal requirements in order to preserve a school grading system developed under former Gov. Jeb Bush.
— Kentucky is seeking a waiver of an ESSA provision that caps at 1 percent the number of students with disabilities that states can test on alternate assessments.
I thought ESSA was supposed to do away with the need for waivers?
I guess not.