Two draft federal waiver requests related to state assessment and accountability requirements are now available for public comment, according to State Education Commissioner Betty A. Rosa. The Department is accepting comments through February 5 and stakeholders are encouraged to fill out a brief companion survey regarding the 2020-21 school year student assessment and school accountability processes. The full text of each proposed waiver is posted on NYSED’s ESSA webpage.

“Throughout the pandemic the Board’s priority has been the physical and mental health, safety, and well-being of the children and adults in our schools,” said Board of Regents Chancellor Lester W. Young, Jr.  “In light of the ongoing pandemic, we have determined that the Spring 2021 state assessments cannot be safely, equitably and fairly administered to students in schools across the state and, therefore, are seeking these waivers.”

”As part of this process we are seeking input from local stakeholders to ensure that our requests capture the experiences of our partners across the state and we look forward to reviewing their comments,” said Interim Commissioner Rosa.

Upon approval of these waivers by USDE, NYSED will seek an additional waiver from certain ESSA reporting requirements pertaining to assessments and accountability.

Comments on the draft waivers may be emailed to with “ESSA Comments from (sender/organization name)” in the subject line. Comments will be accepted through February 5, 2021.

In February, NYSED will present a summary of the public comments received on the two draft waiver requests to the Board of Regents.  If the waivers are approved by the USDE, the Department will propose to the Board of Regents that it adopt such amendments to Commissioner’s Regulations to implement the waivers.

The Berlin Central School District will provide updates to the community regarding testing as they become available.