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Nevada seeks waiver from federal student testing requirement

Nevada students may have one less worry this spring amid school closures after Superintendent of Public Instruction Jhone Ebert moved to cancel standardized testing.

Ebert announced Friday that the Nevada Department of Education requested a waiver from federally mandated testing after schools throughout the state were closed Sunday due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the state.

The request comes after an announcement by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos that states affected by widespread school closures that are unable to adequately assess their students could request relief from the testing and reporting requirements mandated by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.

“Students need to be focused on staying healthy and continuing to learn. Teachers need to be able to focus on remote learning and other adaptations,” DeVos said in a statement. “Neither students nor teachers need to be focused on high-stakes tests during this difficult time.”

Governors in states like California and Washington had already issued executive orders canceling standardized tests, though those orders were dependent on federal approval. President Donald Trump said in a press conference Friday that the Department of Education would not enforce testing requirements.

Ebert’s waiver requests relief from assessment requirements, as well as accountability requirements that identify schools as in need of support.

Any school that is receiving comprehensive or targeted support this year would keep its designation and receive support the following year, according to the waiver.

The document will be posted online for 30 days for public comment.

It was not immediately clear when the U.S. Department of Education would respond to the request.

Contact Aleksandra Appleton at 702-383-0218 or aappleton@reviewjournal.com. Follow @aleksappleton on Twitter.

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