ISBE Seeking Waivers on Assessments from Department of Education

By Benjamin Cox on February 6, 2021 at 8:36am

The Illinois State Board of Education is lobbying the federal government for a waiver of assessments for students this Spring. In communication sent by ISBE President Carmen Ayala to educators across the state on Friday, she says the board has been requesting that the federal Department of Education waive Spring assessments for students due to the pandemic.

Ayala says that 77 percent of school districts are offering some in-person instruction, but ISBE’s data shows that nearly 1 million students around the state are still in full-remote learning. She says that fewer than 200 districts serving less than 200,000 students are currently able to provide fully in-person instruction.

Ayala believes that educators should maintain their focus on transitioning students back to in-person environments and provide their own assessments. Ayala says if the federal Department of Education does provide a waiver, ISBE would be applying for it.

She says that while assessment is a vital part of education, it can and should be practiced at the classroom and district level while the state and country continue to battle and overcome the pandemic.