Education Week logoDo districts need state permission to take advantage of new ESSA flexibility to substitute a nationally recognized, college-entrance exam (like the SAT or ACT) instead of the state test for high-school accountability purposes?

The short answer: Yup.

The longer answer: ESSA does indeed allow districts to use a college-entrance test instead of the state test for high school accountability. But the state has to be OK with it. Districts can’t just do this on their own, without the state’s approval.

This guidance, from the U.S. Department of Education, makes that crystal clear: “A state has discretion as to whether it will offer its [local education agencies] this flexibility.”

And at least one district, Long Beach,Calif.¬†has sought its state’s permission to use the SAT instead of the state test and was told no dice.

In general, states have been reluctant to offer districts this flexibility.

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