The State Board of Education and the Department of Public Instruction are working on changes to the state’s testing and accountability system to accommodate for students’ learning challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Wednesday, Superintendent Catherine Truitt, in response to a question from Board Chairman Eric Davis, said the department would work on a recommendation on how students’ state tests are weighted as a part of students’ grades.
The board has received a “number of emails” from parents concerned about the weight of the test scores, Davis said. He suggested the department make a recommendation to the board soon, as the school year approaches its end.
The U.S. Department of Education granted North Carolina a wavier from testing accountability and school identification requirements.
Schools must administer standardized tests this year. A federal waiver of accountability and school identification means the state can forgo identifying new schools in need of support based on the test results. The state will no longer have to ensure 95 percent of all students and 95 percent of every student subgroup were tested.
However, North Carolina still requires some of the things the federal waiver temporarily gets rid of.
The state still requires annual state and school report cards, school performance grades, accountability systems for alternative schools, and identifying low-performing and continually low-performing schools and administrations.
Now, the State Board of Education must ask the General Assembly to address those state statutes that require accountability and school identification.
Senate Bill 654, filed Tuesday, addresses those requests.