Posted: Thu, 06/23/2016 - 2:06pm Updated: Mon, 03/23/2020 - 9:18am

Indiana’s Request for Federal Waiver

During the second half of the 2019-2020 school year, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has expanded globally, and created health concerns and implications for the State of Indiana. Schools serve students, staff and visitors from throughout the community. All of these people may have close contact in the school building, often sharing spaces, equipment and supplies, heightening the potential threat of the novel coronavirus for students and communities. As of March 20, 2020, Governor Eric Holcomb, in consultation with my Department, mandated the closure of all Indiana schools through May 1, 2020. The closures of school corporations throughout the state directly impacts the ability to administer the annual statewide assessment required under sec. 1111(b) of the Every Student Succeeds Act, as well as the ability to generate valid and reliable data for purposes of assigning federal accountability ratings to schools required under sec. 1111(c) of the Every Student Succeeds Act.

Indiana recognizes the value of statewide assessments and accountability data for schools, educators, parents and the general public. However, the health and safety of our students and educators are the number one priority in these unprecedented times. Therefore, on March 23, 2020, the Indiana Department of Education submitted to the US Department of Education a request for a targeted, one-year waiver of federal requirements pertaining to assessment and accountability.

Individuals who wish to provide comment to the Department of Education regarding its waiver request may complete and submit this jotform through April 20, 2020. The waiver request may be found below.

What is Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)?

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed into law on December 10, 2015. It reauthorizes the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which was previously reauthorized as the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).

The ESSA requires all participating states to submit a consolidated state plan for review by the United State Department of Education. The state ESSA plan must include details regarding the following required components:

  • Challenging State Academic Standards
  • Academic Assessments
  • Statewide Accountability Systems
  • School Support and Improvement Activities

Indiana’s Consolidated State Plan

After much public input and consultation, Indiana submitted its consolidated state plan to the US Department of Education on September 18, 2017. On January 19, 2018, the US Department of Education approved Indiana’s Consolidated State Plan, which was implemented for the first time with the 2017-2018 school year. On February 1, 2019, Indiana submitted an amendment to its consolidated state plan to address changes to the school accountability system after receiving public comment and input.

Document Name Description Date of Publication
Indiana’s State Plan
Indiana’s current Consolidated State Plan under ESSA
November 15, 2019


ESSA Component Resources
Academic Assessments
Statewide Accountability
State Support & Improvement for Low-Performing Schools
Supporting Excellent Educators
Supporting All Students

Archived Materials

Document Name Description Date of Publication
ESSA Plan with Revisions Indiana’s ESSA plan, with revisions based on U.S. Department of Education Feedback January 8, 2018
ESSA Consolidated Plan Indiana’s ESSA Plan, as submitted to U.S. Department of Education  September 18, 2017
ESSA Plan - Draft Two A draft of the ESSA Plan Submitted to the Governor’s office for feedback August 15, 2017
ESSA Survey Feedback A summary of the stakeholder feedback from the public survey of the first draft of the ESSA plan August 15, 2017
ESSA Plan - Draft One The first draft of the ESSA plan June 30, 2017
Findings from Community Meetings A summary of findings from the ESSA Community Meetings, held in the Spring 2017 June 30, 2017