Dear DC School Community Members,
We want to thank you for supporting the city-wide effort to cancel PARCC testing this school year, and asking the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) to request a waiver from the US Department of Education (USEd).
As of today, 1150+ of you have signed representing almost 130 schools from all 8 Wards.
In way of update, on Monday (Feb. 22), we submitted the letter with your signatures to Mayor Bowser, Acting State Superintendent Young, DC Council Chairman Mendelson, and Deputy Mayor of Education Kihn, with copy to all DC Councilmembers and DC State Board of Education Representatives.
Later, the US Department of Education issued a letter discouraging blanket waivers. We are encouraged, however, as the letter also explicitly closes with:
“If a request for a waiver is appropriate, prior to submitting a waiver request…, as required under ESEA section 8401(b)(3)(A), you must provide the public and interested local educational agencies notice and a reasonable time for them to comment in the manner in which the state educational agency customarily provides notice and the opportunity to comment to the public.”
While the mixed message within the language of the USEd letter is disappointing, it does not discourage all waivers. As such, we continue to make the common sense ask of OSSE to pursue a PARCC waiver immediately and per USEd guidelines, provide DC school communities and the public “notice and opportunity to comment.”
We will continue to monitor OSSE’s response, and will share what we learn, and whether further action is needed from this community.
Thank you for supporting DC students.
Sandra and Suzanne
(on behalf of W6PSPO and Friends)