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The U.S. Department of Education tonight approved waivers requested by the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) to suspend assessments and Oklahoma School Report Cards for the 2019-20 school year.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister requested the waivers to help schools navigate the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic. At Hofmeister’s request, the State Board of Education on March 16 closed public schools until April 6 to help reduce community spread of COVID-19.

“Our schools have the unprecedented challenge this school year of educating students while absolutely guarding their health and well being, as well as that of our educators and communities,” said Hofmeister. “These waivers provide some measure of stability and flexibility for our schools to move forward during this period of uncertainty.”

The waivers mean Oklahoma schools will not administer academic assessments in English language arts, mathematics and science for grades 3-8 or to high school juniors.

Similarly, the OSDE will not issue Oklahoma School Report Cards, the state’s accountability system that factors in assessments and other indicators.

The Board of Education will hold a special meeting Wednesday, March 25, to determine whether to extend the school closure, among other pressing Board actions.

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E-mail lindsey.chastain@skiatookjournal.com

Managing Editor

Lindsey is the managing editor for the Skiatook Journal. She holds an M.A in English from the University of Central Oklahoma. Prior to the start of her news career in 2011, Renuard was a professor of English at the University of Central Oklahoma.