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

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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.”

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