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OSSE Statewide Assessment and Accountability Waiver: COVID-19

2021 OSSE Statewide Assessment & Accountability Waiver Requests & Approval

Updated April 22, 2021

Assessment Waiver 

In March 2021, in light of the growing but still limited return to in-person student learning during the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) requested a waiver to suspend statewide summative assessments for students in spring 2021.  

On April 6, 2021, the US Department of Education officially granted the District of Columbia a one-year waiver from the following statutory requirements under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA):  

  • Statewide assessment requirements in Section 1111(b)(2) to administer required statewide assessments in English language arts/literacy, mathematics, science, and alternate assessments for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities; 
  • Statewide assessment participation requirements in Section 1111(c)(4)(E); and
  • Reporting of student results on general and alternate assessments in reading/language arts, mathematics, and science of sections 1111(h)(1)(C)(ii), (vii), and ((xi). Along with the related requirements in section 1111(h)(2)(C) for school report cards.  

The US Department of Education’s Approval letter is available here.

Accountability Waiver

At the same time, OSSE submitted a waiver request to the ESEA Consolidated State Plan for accountability, school identification, and reporting requirements in Section 1111(c)(4)(B)(i) and 1111(d)(2)(C)-(D) and selected report card provisions in Section 1111(h) based on data from the 2020-21 school year as specified in the Department’s Accountability Waiver template. In short, the waiver asks to suspend the calculation of new STAR ratings for the 20-21 school year and new school designations for comprehensive and targeted improvements. 

The US Department of Education’s Approval letter is available here.

Public Comment 

As required by the USED, OSSE provided opportunity for the public to review and provide comment on both the assessment and accountability waivers. Public comment closed on April 2, 2021. OSSE will consolidate and post all public comments on both waiver requests shortly.  

Questions 

Questions related to statewide assessments should be directed to Danielle Branson at [email protected] and questions related to accountability should be directed to Donna Johnson at [email protected]

Attachments:

 


2020 OSSE Statewide Assessment & Accountability Waiver

On March 20, 2020, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that all District of Columbia public schools would be closed until April 27, 2020. In light of this announcement, OSSE made the decision to cancel statewide summative assessments for students in spring 2020, and to suspend the calculation of new STAR ratings for the 2019-20 school year.

In addition, the US Department of Education, pursuant to section 8401(b) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended, provided states with an opportunity to submit waivers of federal requirements relating to assessment, accountability, and some reporting components on state report cards. In line with our decision to suspend assessment and school accountability for the 2019-20 school year, OSSE, as the state education agency for the District of Columbia, submitted a waiver to US Department of Education. The waiver applied to the following federal requirements:

  • the administration of required statewide assessments,
  • accountability and school identification of comprehensive and targeted support schools, and
  • related report card provisions.

OSSE received approval from the US Department of Education for the waiver. The waiver may be found here.

Please review OSSE’s website for the official policy guidance on the suspension of statewide assessments and impacts on the accountability system for the 2019-20 school year.

As required by the US Department of Education, OSSE provided opportunity for the public to review and provide comment on this waiver. Public comments were submitted to [email protected] and were accepted until April 13, 2020.

Attachments: