It turns out Texas jumped the gun a bit last night when it announced that federal education officials had denied the state’s request for a testing waiver. The U.S. Department of Education tells us today that its officials are still working with the Lone Star state on the issue.
“The U.S. Department of Education has not denied Texas’ double-testing flexibility request,” department spokeswoman Dorie Nolt said in an email to reporters. “Department staff have been in contact with the state commissioner to discuss this request.
“We believe it is laudable that students are taking Algebra in middle school, and it is appropriate for them to be tested on the content of that course. Federal law does require that students take a math assessment in high school, so the department is working with the state to find a solution that would ensure that Texas students taking Algebra in middle school are also being assessed on higher-level math content in high school to help prepare them for college and a career.”
In the wake of state legislation that changed Texas’ testing regimen, the state wants federal permission to make changes that allow it to avoid testing Algebra 1 students twice: in middle school and in high school.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.