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Federal officials allow Michigan to cancel M-STEP; state lawmakers must now act

We needed to help students see that the path to college was still a reality. We needed hope. At MESA, that hope came in the unlikely form of the CLEP exams,” Principal Pagee Cheung writes.
Testing in Progress sign on door at Thomas Gregg Neighborhood School, an elementary school in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Alan Petersime/Chalkbeat

Michigan has received a waiver that will allow the state to cancel the M-STEP and other state exams this school year, but the state Legislature must also act to make that official.

“We are pleased that the U.S. Department of Education heard our call to waive the federal requirement for statewide student testing,” State Superintendent Michael Rice said in a statement Monday morning. “We now need the Michigan legislature to amend state law that requires statewide testing and accountability.”

The waiver comes after federal officials said Friday they would allow for the cancellation of state exams. Michigan officials filed a waiver that afternoon.

Last week a request for a waiver was refused because the test date did not overlap with the time students were out. The state exam is set to begin in mid-April.

In the state letter to the U.S. Department of Education, Rice wrote that because of the extensive school closures resulting from the COVID-19 crisis, it is not possible to administer assessments required under federal law or to comply with the accompanying school accountability requirements.

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