The U.S. Department of Education (USED) denied Michigan’s request to waive the federal requirement to administer state summative assessments.
In late January, the Michigan Department of Education cited the COVID-19 pandemic as a reason not to test Michigan’s 1.5 million students. MDE requested waivers to federal requirements for state summative tests,and waivers of associated high-stakes accountability requirements. The accountability waivers were approved on March 26.
The coronavirus has thrown our entire society in disarray, and no less poignant an example exists than our K-12 public schools. The closure of schools across the country has stopped the normal learning process dead in its tracks. In a valiant attempt to continue, many districts have sought to leverage long distance learning. Unfortunately, weaknesses in the law, technological infrastructure, and teacher preparation, as well as inequities among students, are barriers to success. For example, the Michigan Department of Education has announced that under the law, virtual learning will not count for funding purposes as “seat time.”