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Agency of Education Receives Dept. of Ed. Preliminary Waiver Approval From Testing and Accountability Provisions

March 23, 2020

For Immediate Release: March 23, 2020

MONTPELIER, Vt. – The Vermont Agency of Education announced that it received preliminary approval for its waiver request from the testing and accountability provisions of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) as a result of the COVID‐19 outbreak. The U.S. Department of Education announced an expedited process on Friday, March 20, 2020, to allow states to request a waiver from these testing and accountability requirements. The Agency applied on Saturday and received the waiver Sunday.

“I am pleased our waiver request was processed so quickly,” said Vermont Secretary of Education Dan French. “This waiver will allow us to prioritize our efforts for providing continued support, education and wellbeing of our students during this challenging time.”

This waiver means Vermont will be able to:

  • Forgo administering some or all of the statewide assessments (the Smarter Balanced Assessments (SBAC), the Next Generation Science Standards Assessment (VTSA), the Vermont Physical Education Assessment (VTPEA), and the Vermont Alternate Assessments (VTAA)) in the spring of 2020;
  • Not count 2019‐2020 assessment data toward the requirement to identify Vermont schools as eligible for equity supports under ESSA; and
  • Not count 2019‐2020 assessment data toward school ratings on the Annual Snapshot.

Read the complete release