WATCH: State Superintendent says no standardized tests for Alabama schools this year


FILE – In this Wednesday, March 11, 2020, file photo, custodial staffer Hortensia Salinas uses an Electrostatic Clorox Sprayer to spray disinfectant in a classroom at Brownsville Early College High School in Brownsville, Texas. Closing schools to combat the spread of the coronavirus is having a sweeping impact on an annual rite of spring: the standardized tests that are dreaded by millions of students and teachers alike. (Denise Cathey/The Brownsville Herald via AP, File)

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. – State Superintendent Eric Mackey announced today that Alabama is applying for a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education that will remove the burden of standardized testing at schools across the state.

This will allow for schools to focus on making up the missed schooling when students return to class, which is scheduled to return on April 6th as of right now.

This action means there will be no School Report Card released this year for the schools across the state. Mackey said this means the rankings from the 2019 report card will remain the same for next school year.

"During this difficult and stressful time, schools are looking for some good news, and today U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos delivered great news! We are very pleased that the Secretary has created an expedited process to waive standardized assessments and related accountability reporting. Alabama will be submitting a waiver today requesting any and all the flexibility allowed pursuant to the Secretary's letter."

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Alabama joins several other states in canceling standardized testing for this academic year. The tests were scheduled to begin in early April in many states.

While that's easing the burden on students and teachers, it's also creating problems. The federal government requires states to perform annual standardized assessments under the Every Student Succeeds Act. And education groups warn that moving classes online won't deliver equitable learning across states, school districts and even within classrooms.

Several states have asked U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to waive those requirements. The department has said states can apply for a waiver on a case-by-case basis, but no blanket waiver has been announced.

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