Washington students will not have to take state exams this spring

Students in Washington will not have to take state standardized tests this spring, according to the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).

The decision was made to reduce the number of students who take state tests this spring, as well as the number of hours spent on those tests. 

In March, OSPI submitted accountability and state assessment waiver applications to the U.S. Department of Education. The state has been granted an accountability waiver, but thus far has not received the flexibility students, families, and educators need for spring assessments, leading OSPI to pause the exams.

"I have made the determination that Washington state will not be administering the Smarter Balanced Assessments or the Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science this spring. Instead, our assessment window for the 2020–21 school year will be in the fall – a timeline consistent with guidance provided by the Department to satisfy federal testing requirements," Reykdal said in an email. 

OSPI said taking exams in the fall still fits within federal requirements. 

"The federally mandated testing system that has been driving too much local decision-making for the past 20 years is not achieving the intended result of closing opportunity and achievement gaps. To be clear, we are closing gaps, but it is the everyday work of families, educators, school and district leaders, and community partners that’s having the biggest impact. Summative assessments are one way to measure our progress, but they should no longer drive our strategies," Reykdal said in a statement.

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