March 8, 2021
Please see the information below that was shared with chief state school officers earlier this morning.
Patrick Rooney, Director
School Support and Accountability
From: Honeysett, Adam <Adam.Honeysett@ed.gov>
Sent: Monday, March 8, 2021 11:07 AM
Subject: U.S. Department of Education Optional Template: Waiver Requests of Accountability, School Identification, and Reporting Requirements for School Year 2020-2021
March 8, 2021
Dear Chief State School Officer:
Due to the continued extraordinary circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting impacts on students, educators, and schools, the U.S. Department of Education (Department) invited states on February 22, 2021, to request a waiver for the 2020-2021 school year of accountability, school identification, and related reporting requirements in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA).
As discussed in the letter inviting these waiver requests, I am writing to provide the optional state waiver template (attached) to ensure an efficient process for requesting and reviewing these requests. The optional template is also available here. Consistent with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this optional template is posted for public comment on the information being collected. A state may use this template while the Department is collecting public comment.
Prior to submitting a waiver request, ESEA section 8401(b)(3)(A) requires a state to provide the public and interested local educational agencies (LEAs) notice and a reasonable time for them to comment in the manner in which you customarily provide similar notice and opportunity, and to provide the Department a copy of comments received (if any) and a description of how the state addressed the comments.
Beyond the scope of these waivers, we also encourage states and LEAs to consider other steps within your purview to further reduce the stakes of assessments this year, such as excluding their use from students’ final grades, grade promotion decisions, educator evaluations, and local school ratings.
For assistance on this accountability waiver template, or to discuss assessment flexibility that a state may need based on the specific circumstances within the state, please contact OESE.Titleiemail@example.com.
Thank you again for your continued commitment to students, educators, and schools during these extraordinary circumstances.
Delegated the Authority to Perform the Functions and Duties of the Assistant Secretary
Office of Elementary and Secondary Education
State Title I Directors
State Title III Directors
State Special Education Directors
State Assessment Directors