On May 01, 2018, Utah state superintendent Sydnee Dickson sent this waiver request to Betsy DeVos’ USDOE regarding parental rights to opt their children out of state tests– as protected by state law. The Every Student Succeeds Acts (ESSA) (the latest version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, or ESEA) requires that 95 percent of eligible students participate in state tests in order to qualify for Title I funding.
A primary concern is that scoring opt-out students’ tests as zeroes skews test-based school accountability and potentially misidentifies “low performing” schools– with opt-outs “highest” at charter and virtual schools. Some excerpts:
The waiver request, if granted, would enable the state to maintain one coherent accountability system, allow Utah to more accurately identify schools in need of improvement, and avoid undermining the transparency of our accountability system, including the ability of policymakers, educators, parents, and students to make informed…
View original post 1,190 more words