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Joint Letter to U.S. Department of Education Regarding Flexibility for Annual Statewide Assessments

All4Ed and seven partners’ wrote to the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to reiterate our support for ED’s clarity that it is vitally important – and required by law – for families, educators, and the public have access to data on student opportunity and learning, including data from statewide assessments. This data will help us understand how much COVID-19 has impacted learning for students of color, students from low-income backgrounds, students with disabilities, English learners, and students experiencing homelessness. It will also help identify what resources and supports students need to accelerate learning, including those provided with the almost $130 billion allocated to states and districts through the American Rescue Plan Act.

Given the pandemic-specific flexibility ED has provided to states in implementing the critical civil rights component of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) that requires states to administer high-quality, statewide assessments, we urge ED to turn now to providing the oversight needed to ensure the equitable implementation of this flexibility and to take meaningful action when states fail to meet their obligation to provide equal educational opportunity for all students.

Download the letter below.