ALBANY, N.Y. (WWTI) — The New York State Education Department (NYSED) announced on Tuesday that the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) has approved its Accountability and Report Card waiver for the 2020 to 2021 school year.
This original waiver was submitted by NYSED on February 12, and requested that the Department of Education allow for flexibility regarding federal accountability requirements for the school year.
For the waiver specifically, NYSED claimed that “even in cases where data could be collected for the individual accountability indicators, in order to make determinations at the elementary/middle and high school levels, there is much concern that such determinations for the 2020-21 school year will be distorted by the disparities across the State in learning modality and device/internet connectivity access.”
With the decision made by the DOE to approve the waiver, NYSED confirmed that it will adopt the following guidelines:
- Waive all requirements pertaining to participation rates in state assessment administered during the 2020-2021 school year
- Not make 2021-22 school year accountability status or level determinations based on 2020-21 school year data for any of the indicators used in New York’s accountability system
- Freeze the accountability status of all schools and district
- Continue to provide supports in the 2021-22 school year to Target Districts, CSI Schools, and TSI Schools and provide interventions consistent with the school’s support and improvement plan.
- Extend established MIPs and Long-Term Goals by one additional year
- Waive requirements in Commissioner’s Regulations related to the development and submission of Participation Rate Improvement Plans to be implemented in the 2021-22 school year
- Waive requirements in Commissioner’s Regulations that any Good Standing school with any accountability measure of Level 1 for any subgroup to complete a Level 1 Addendum for the 2021-22 school year.
Additionally, as a result of the waiver, NYSED will not report the following data on the 2020-2021 school year School and District report cards:
- A description of the State’s accountability system
- Information related to the performance on other academic indicator for public elementary schools and secondary schools that are not high schools
- Information related to the performance on School Quality or Student Success indicators
- Information related to progress toward meeting Long-Term Goals and Measurements of Interim Progress
- Information showing how students in an LEA and each school, respectively, performed on the academic assessments compared to students in the State and LEA.
NYSED Commissioner Betty A. Rosa commented on the decision:
“USDE made the right decision in allowing NYSED this flexibility so we may focus on sustaining and, even expanding, high-quality support to districts and schools as they recover from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Commissioner Rosa. “While accountability remains an important part of the work we do, we must acknowledge there are additional priorities in our schools now.”
In this extraordinary year, any accountability determinations would be distorted by disparities across the state in learning opportunities and access to devices and internet connection, and we are grateful to USDE for recognizing this,” added Board of Regents Chancellor Lester W. Young. “It’s critical that the Department be able to make accurate accountability judgments so schools and students receive the proper supports.
This was announced to school districts across New York State on June 22 by NYSED Assistant Commissioner Jason Harmon.