US DOE Spells Out ‘OPT OUT’ Consequences to States

dmbtestAssistant Secretary Whalen, U.S. Department of Education, sent a letter on December 2nd, 2015 to Chief State School Officers that outlines the consequences to states for failure to administer state assessments to at least 95% of eligible students.  The letter lists possible federal actions to restrict funding for federal programs.  If fewer than 95% of students sit the state assessments for two years in a row 2014-2016, then the state may incur penalties e.g.

  • Place Title I Part A grants on high risk status.
  • Withhold Title I Part A administrative funds
  • Withhold or redirect Title VI test administrative funds

The letter provides a list of actions that states may consider to pressure districts and schools to comply with federal testing mandates for 2016.  These could include lowering school grades, counting non participants in testing as not proficient in accountability reports, withholding state aid and/or funding flexibility and labeling schools as ‘high risk’.  High risk schools may be subject to state take over.

The letter does not specify what actions schools may take to pressure parents to comply with the testing requirement.

Posted in Testing, US Government.

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