February 23, 2021


WASHINGTON D.C. –The U.S. Chamber of Commerce applauds the decision from the Biden administration not to issue a waiver that would allow states to abandon statewide annual assessments for the 2020-2021 school year.

Cheryl Oldham, vice president of education policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, released the following statement:

“The guidance issued prioritizes the collection of data for learning and we appreciate the focus on those students who have exited the system as a result of the pandemic. We have an opportunity this year to embrace assessments as a part of our collective recovery.

“Waiving Federal accountability requirements gives states permission to decouple consequences for failures beyond their control. But reliable statewide assessments are the flashlight we must have to understand what this pandemic and the digital divide have done to student learning. For this reason we are concerned with the Department's decision to allow states to waive the requirement to test at least 95% of students. We fear this signals to states that measuring learning loss among all students is not a priority. Understanding where every child is today is absolutely essential to planning for their future.”

The U.S. Chamber also joined 46 organizations including The Education Trust, National Urban League, UnidosUS, and Business Roundtable in a statement supporting the decision.