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Updates re: Statewide Summative Assessments for Spring 2021

[Feb. 25, 2021 Update] OSSE is seeking a one-year waiver from federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requirements around assessments, in order to suspend statewide summative assessments for students in spring 2021, including Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) in English Language Arts and Math, Multi-State Alternate Assessments (MSAA), ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 and Alternate ACCESS. Earlier in the year, OSSE announced that both the DC Science assessment and Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) science alternate assessment were also cancelled and that STAR Framework Scores and Ratings would not be calculated for the 2020-21 school year.

We value the use of comparable student performance data and recognize how important it is, particularly now. Our statewide assessment systems provide us critical information on academic performance across the city and we will be on track to resume administration in spring 2022. We are committed to working with our stakeholders to be able to provide information that is meaningful and useful in improving programs and supports for all students and schools. No other tool can take the place of statewide summative assessments in providing comparable data on student performance and growth. However, given the unique circumstances DC is facing this year, we do not believe our summative assessments would yield the reliable and comparable data needed to inform targeting of resources and supports for students who need it the most. We do believe in the power of statewide summative assessments and remain committed to understanding where our students are.  

We plan on requiring LEAs to submit information to OSSE about student progress based on school-level assessments and invest in city-wide research to understand the state of unfinished learning across the state. We are committed to working with our stakeholders to be able to provide information that is meaningful and useful in improving programs and supports for all students and schools. In the coming weeks, we will provide more information about the data that we will collect.