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Biden Administration Grants Testing Waiver To Schools

As part of his long-standing efforts to defend local control for parents and educators and increase flexibility in Montana classrooms, U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., has announced that he successfully pressed the Department of Education to grant Montana schools flexibility in standardized testing for the 2023-2024 academic year. Montana is the only state in the country to have been granted this standardized testing waiver.

“As a former school teacher, I know firsthand that Montana students are best served when parents, educators and the local community have a voice in their education — not Washington D.C. bureaucrats,” said Tester. “That’s why I called on the Biden Administration to cut burdensome red-tape and allow Montana schools to develop a testing plan that works for our state. I’m glad the administration granted Montana this waiver, and I’ll keep pushing back against one-size-fits-all policies that don’t make sense for our state.”

Tester has consistently fought to reduce federally mandated standardized tests and increase flexibility in Montana classrooms.

In June, Tester wrote a letter to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona in support of the Montana Office of Public Instruction’s application for the 2023-2024 academic year double-testing waiver. The Administration’s approval of this waiver will support OPI’s Montana Alternative Student Testing Pilot Program, which assists educators by providing the tools necessary to create personalize education needs for all students. The Field Test Flexibility waiver will aid in advancement of Montana students’ academic achievements by reducing the burden on district leaders to prevent double-testing and develop a more balanced assessment system.

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