US Dept. of Education approves SCDE’s waiver to suspend student assessments


COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) – State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman said Monday that the South Carolina Department of Education’s assessment suspension waiver has been approved by the U.S. Department of Education.

Spearman sent a letter to U.S. Department of Education Deputy Secretary of Education, Mick Zais, notifying them of South Carolina’s intent to suspend federally required assessments and submitted additional accountability measure waivers.

According to a news release, South Carolina will not administer any of the following assessment programs for Spring 2020:

  • SC READY (English language arts and mathematics in grades 3-8)
  • SCPASS (Science in grades 4 and 6)
  • End-of-Course Examination Program (English, Algebra, Biology, U.S. History and the Constitution), as well as waived the requirement that the exams count 20 percent
  • Pre-kindergarten assessments
  • Alternate assessments

“The suspension of South Carolina’s student assessments will allow educators to focus on meeting the needs of students and relieve undue anxiety faced by parents and students,” Spearman said. “Our efforts must be concentrated on addressing this unprecedented public health pandemic.Β I appreciate Secretary DeVos and the U.S. Department of Education recognizing this and swiftly approving our waiver request.”

According to the release, SCDE is working with venders of college entrance, college credit and workforce readiness assessments to “explore innovative approaches, such as testing online. To the extent possible, districts may administer these assessments to students who may need them for post-secondary or employment aspirations. These assessments include Advanced Placement, SAT, ACT, and WIN Ready to Work.”

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