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Feds Say No, They Actually Haven't Rejected Texas' Testing Waiver Request

Cross-posted from the Curriculum Matters blog

by Catherine Gewertz

UPDATE: It turns out that the Texas Education Agency spoke too soon. As my colleague Catherine Gewertz reported today, contrary to the earlier version of this blog post, the U.S. Department of Education said it has not in fact turned down the state's bid for a math testing waiver. See her blog post for more. 

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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