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Carey Wright, Mississippi Superintendent of Education, is asking that state and federal assessment and accountability requirements be suspended for the 2019-20 school year due to COVID-19.

JACKSON • Mississippi State Superintendent Dr. Carey Wright made a recommendation on Monday to the State Board of Education that state and federal assessment and accountability requirements be suspended for the 2019-20 school year due to COVID-19.

The Mississippi Department of Education will seek the maximum authority and waivers afforded by the U.S. Department of Education and other federal agencies.

State and federal assessments included in the recommendation are: Pre-K and Kindergarten Readiness Assessment (post-test), Mississippi Academic Assessment Program (MAAP) and MAAP-Alternate English Language Arts, Mathematics and Science – Grades 3-8 and High School, U.S. History, ACT for 11th graders and the English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT).

State Rep. Tom Miles said on Monday before MDE’s announcement that he would file a suspension resolution in the House of Representatives to exempt Mississippi schools from state testing for the current school year due to the uncertainty of school schedules.

“If they’re going to be out of school this long and we’re fixing to be in the middle of the testing season, that’s one less thing they have to worry about that we can fix,” Miles said.

Wright will continue to work collaboratively with Gov. Tate Reeves and Dr. Thomas Dobbs, State Health Officer with the Mississippi Department of Health, as the pandemic evolves, MDE said.

“This is an unprecedented time in our state and country, and the safety, health and well-being of students, school staff and communities are the MDE’s and the Mississippi State Board of Education’s top priorities,” Wright said.

Should schools statewide need to close for an extended period of time, Wright will recommend that the SBE waive applicable policies regarding attendance, promotion and graduation.

The SBE is scheduled to meet virtually at 10 a.m. March 19. The public can view the meeting at http://bit.ly/SBElive.

The MDE is working with the Legislature to address the issue of pay during an extended closure for certified and non-certified school employees.

blake.alsup@journalinc.com

Twitter: @AlsupTheWriter

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