FRANKFORT — The Kentucky Department of Education notified all Kentucky public school superintendents Tuesday that K-PREP testing for the 2019-2020 school year has been canceled.
The U.S. Department of Education Announced last Friday that students impacted by school closures due to the coronavirus pandemic can bypass standardized testing for the 2019-2020 school year. KDE applied for a waiver and has been notified that its testing waiver has been tentatively approved.
The testing window during which the Kentucky Performance Rating for Educational Progress, or K-PREP, is given annually is within the last 14 instructional days on a school district’s calendar.
While all of Kentucky’s 172 public school districts are now using the Non-Traditional Instruction Program to ensure students continue learning while school buildings are closed, in-person classes have been called off through at least April 20. Gov. Andy Beshear has warned superintendents that there may be a need to keep buildings closed later than that date to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Since student performance, as measured by assessments, is required to be used in statewide accountability systems, any state that receives a one-year waiver from testing also may receive a waiver from the requirement that the data be used in the statewide accountability system due to the national emergency. KDE included the exemption from school and district accountability and specific public reporting requirements in its waiver.
A majority of Kentucky public school students took the ACT test March 10. KDE is working with representatives from ACT to provide additional options for those who were unable to complete testing. That information will be provided when details are finalized.
For this year, Interim Education Commissioner Kevin C. Brown said all federal ratings and supports will remain the same until after the next testing cycle in the spring of 2021. The list of schools qualifying for Comprehensive Support and Improvement and Additional Targeted Support and Improvement will also stay the same.
“I hope this will help ease some of the anxiety being felt among our families and our teachers,” Brown said. “I want our teachers and schools to concentrate on providing a great education to their students through the NTI Program rather than worry about standardized testing. Let’s end this year strong despite the extra stress COVID-19 has placed on all of us.”
Brown said the U.S. Department of Education intends to issue a formal approval of the KDE waiver request in the coming weeks.