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Montana Senators comment on MAST program waiver

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News from the offices of Senator Tester, Senator Daines

MONTANA — The Department of Education has granted Montana schools flexibility in standardized testing for the 2023-2024 academic year. The Administration’s approval of this waiver will support OPI’s Montana Alternative Student Testing Pilot Program (MAST), 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. Montana is the only state in the country to have been granted this standardized testing waiver.

Senator Tester said, “As a former schoolteacher, 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.”

Senator Daines said, “Today’s approved Field-Testing Flexibility Waiver for the MAST program makes a new horizon of opportunity accessible for Montana’s future leaders by helping provide Montana educators and students with up-to-date assessments while reducing burdensome over-testing. I’m grateful for Superintendent Arntzen’s leadership and am glad to have worked alongside Montana OPI to secure this big win for Montana education,” Daines said. “Montana students deserve the highest quality education and Montana teachers deserve every resource at their disposal to provide a positive learning experience. I was glad to urge the U.S. Department of Education to approve Montana’s waiver and I’m thankful they made the right decision for Montana students and teachers alike.”

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