BATON ROUGE, La. (KLFY) — With Louisiana’s students out of school for a month due to the coronavirus outbreak, the state has decided to cancel standardized testing for this school year.
The issue was first brought up by Gov. John Bel Edwards this week, though he warned it would require U.S. Department of Education approval. That approval came down earlier today (March 20).
Louisiana schools are dismissed until at least April 13.
Moreover, since testing data is required to be used in accountability systems, like Louisiana’s annual report cards, the state will also exclude testing data from performance measures for the current school year, according to the state department’s press release.
“Our actions today provide turnkey flexibilities for state and local leaders to focus on the immediate needs of their students and educators without worrying about federal repercussions,” wrote U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos in a news release preceding approval of Louisiana’s request. “I’ve spoken with many local education leaders in the past days, and I’m inspired by their efforts to help their students continue to learn and grow. We’re going to continue to provide every flexibility possible to help make that as simple as possible.”
“Louisiana for many years has been an advocate for strong assessment and accountability systems. Our commitment to these valuable systems remains unchanged,” said Acting State Superintendent Beth Scioneaux. “However, the health and well-being of our state’s most vulnerable populations must be our first priority in the coming months. We greatly appreciate the U.S. Department of Education’s expedient review and approval of our request.”
Details about next steps will be communicated directly to school leaders, as well as posted to the LDOE’s dedicated COVID-19 webpage.