State and local leaders face the difficult task of preparing schools to educate students during the coming school year as the COVID-19 crisis continues. Administering statewide summative assessments will be a significant challenge in this uncertain environment, but delaying these assessments risks the loss of critical information that would highlight opportunity gaps and help policymakers celebrate and learn from schools that are helping students through this crisis. This letter, signed by the organizations listed below, was sent to Education Secretary DeVos urging the U.S. Department of Education to refrain from issuing waivers to states from the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requirement for administering statewide English Language Arts and math assessments for the 2020-2021 school year.
The challenges posed by this crisis only underscore the value of collecting and reporting on a standard measure of student performance. Leaders should not have to continue to steer recovery efforts in the dark, and families and communities should be able to access the information they deserve about how schools are serving all students.
Alliance for Excellent Education
Center for American Progress
Collaborative for Student Success
Data Quality Campaign
Education Reform Now
Foundation for Excellence in Education
Great Leaders, Strong Schools
National Center for Learning Disabilities
National Urban League
New Mexico Kids CAN
The Education Trust
Thomas B. Fordham Institute
U.S. Chamber of Commerce