March 7, 2016
Catholic Education News

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A blessed Holy Week to you all! As I settle into my role here at USCCB, my goal is to make the CE News a more regular part of your inbox - while keeping it focused and informative.

Please feel free to share articles, programs, ideas, etc., with me for the CE News at gdolan@usccb.org.

Also, below you will find a new regular feature - the "Reading List". Here I will share some news stories in the Catholic schools world you may find of interest.
 
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.

In this FAQ from 2003 ( section E/pg. 31), ED explains that:
  • 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.
 
Reading List:

 
Have a blessed week,
Greg Dolan