Federal requirements for Michigan school testing, school accountability to be waived

Empty classroom covid-19
Posted at 10:43 AM, Mar 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-23 18:27:57-04

(WXYZ) — The Michigan Department of Education received approval to waive federal requirements for statewide student testing and school accountability.

State Board of Education President Dr. Casandra Ulbrich and State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice wrote to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to say that state testing should be waived this year in order to focus more on children's "immediate needs."

Rice says children will need to be re-acclimated when they return to school.

Michigan's annual M-STEP tests are scheduled to begin the week of April 13 and run through May 28. Schools have been closed in Michigan through April 5.

“For a variety of reasons, this is not simply an undesirable situation; it is a completely unacceptable one,” Ulbrich and Rice included in their letter to DeVos. “Many children will struggle with the long absence from school. It will take many districts a considerable period of time to resume normal functioning, not to mention refocusing on the instruction of children.”

The U.S. Department of Education responded last Friday by offering every state the opportunity to submit expedited waiver requests for a number of federal testing and accountability requirements.

“We are pleased that the U.S. Department of Education heard our call to waive the federal requirement for statewide student testing,” Rice said. “We now need the Michigan legislature to amend state law that requires statewide testing and accountability.”

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

Read our daily Coronavirus Live Blog for the latest updates and news on coronavirus.

Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michigan, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

Find out how you can help metro Detroit restaurants struggling during the pandemic.

See all of our Helping Each Other stories.

See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.