The U.S. Department of Education denied Michigan’s request to waive the federal requirement to administer the state summative assessments. The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) requested the waiver due to the disruption to schools caused by COVID-19. According to State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice, part of the reason for the request was to allow teachers to use the time to work with their students instead of giving the tests. As an alternative to the tests, MDE argued that locally chosen and administered national benchmark assessments, required by state law last summer for this school year, would be more beneficial in providing parents and educators with information on where children are academically.
MDE informed school districts that during the pandemic, it does not support requiring otherwise remote or virtual students to be brought into school solely for the purpose of the state assessment. Districts will have to offer remote or virtual students the opportunity to come into school to take the appropriate state summative assessments, but remote-only students will not be required to come into school for the sole purpose of taking the assessments.
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