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South Carolina intends to suspend federally required testing in schools

Gov. McMaster declared that all schools, from 4k through universities, be closed from March 15 to March 31.
Credit: file

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman sent a letter to the United States Department of Education with South Carolina's intent to suspend all federally required testing in spring of 2020. 

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SC Governor McMaster declared a state of emergency on March 13 amid the coronavirus. Since then, he has declared that all schools, from 4k through universities, be closed from March 15 to March 31.

According to the letter, addressed to Deputy Secretary of Education, Mitchell Zais, Spearman outlines four intentions for public schools, including suspension of all federally-required tests during spring 2020. 

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The intentions are listed below. 

1. South Carolina intends to suspend all federally-required testing during spring 2020 and requests a waiver of those testing requirements, including ESSA's 95 percent assessment participation requirement;

2. South Carolina intends to request a waiver to delay the identification of any school for comprehensive or targeted support and improvement based upon 2019-20;

3. South Carolina intends to apply a hold-harmless provision and keep ratings from the 2018-19 state report cards in place until the 2020-21 school year; and

4. South Carolina may seek additional waivers related to funding and programs, when we determine any impact that COVID-19 may have on the use of ESSA funds.