Department of Education seeks public comment on waiver

The Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) is seeking public comment on the state’s proposed 2020-2021 school year accountability waiver from the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

Due to the disruptions caused by COVID-19, the United States Department of Education is allowing states flexibility to pause federal accountability for the 2020-2021 academic year. Consequently, LDOE is seeking a waiver because of the catastrophic interruptions to traditional education methods and strategies that have harmfully impacted academic outcomes and achievement, as evidenced by the spring 2021 results from the Louisiana Education Assessment Program (LEAP 2025). At this time, 46 states (including the District of Columbia) have received a waiver for accountability from the United States Department of Education.

The deadline for public comment is September 14, 2021.

As part of the waiver request, LDOE proposes to freeze the current ESSA designations assigned to struggling schools in 2019 for the 2020-2021 school year. For example, systems with schools that are currently identified as “Comprehensive Intervention Required” or “Urgent Intervention Required or Needed” would continue with these designations from the prior year. Furthermore, there would be no additional “Comprehensive Intervention Required” or “Urgent Intervention Required or Needed” labels assigned to schools in 2021-2022 based on the results from the 2020-2021 school year.

While the waiver allows for a freeze in school accountability, LDOE remains fully committed to transparent reporting of critical data. The Louisiana School Finder website will be updated with the latest data except School Performance Scores and letter grades. Data displayed will include discipline, attendance, school spending, and students on track to mastery. In turn, schools and systems will be able to use all data collected, from the 2020-2021 academic year, to inform instructional planning and design strategic supports and interventions.

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If you have additional questions regarding the waiver, contact