Testing and Catholic School Students
In light of the Department of Education's ongoing negotiated rulemaking on ESSA's assessment and supplement-not-supplant provisions, a reminder of the requirements for private school students regarding state assessments may be in order.
- LEAs must annually assess the progress of Title I programs to meet agreed-upon standards;
- "Annual progress" metrics of Title I programs are determined through consultation and must be agreed upon every year;
- LEAs may only assess our students in areas where Title I services are provided;
- Title I funds may be spent on assessments, as long as they only test Title I subjects;
- Private schools are not required to share data from their own tests
While our students, even the ones receiving Title benefits, are not required to participate in state tests, it is up to school administrators to develop ways to vouch for progress in Title programs.
The state assessments and the larger testing world will certainly impact a) how our schools are judged in the public and b) what tests Catholic schools can use to judge themselves.
This week's negotiated rulemaking was just a first round (look for a wrap-up after their next gathering in a couple weeks) but it is an important reminder -
we should remain vigilant about protecting our independence because we never know when the testing regime may come to our schools' doors.
What is the situation in your school district or state? I would appreciate your feedback on which tests your students take and for what reason.