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Texas Loses Bid For Federal Testing Waiver

The U.S. Department of Education has denied Texas' bid for a testing waiver that would have allowed it to avoid testing some students twice in mathematics.

In a press release issued Thursday, the Texas Education Agency said that it had been notified by federal officials that its waiver had been denied.

An important thing to note here is that this is not the "double-testing" waiver that some states have applied for in order to avoid giving their students their own state tests on top of the PARCC or Smarter Balanced field tests. Texas' waiver request appears to fall into a longstanding category of waivers that have been available to states long before the "double-testing" waivers were added.

Another recent example of a testing waiver awarded that was not a double-testing waiver was the one awarded to New York a couple of months ago. Like Texas' request, New York's waiver involved a request to avoid testing the same group of students with two different state math tests.

Texas' request arose from recent legislative changes to its testing regimen. Under the new system, state officials feared that districts might try to game the system by shifting the grade level at which students in Algebra 1 take the test in that subject.

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