The United States Department of Education has granted the New Jersey Department of Education an extension of its 2017 waiver from specific statutory and regulatory provisions regarding middle school math assessment requirements established under the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act  as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act  through the 2024-2025 school year, according to a memo from the New Jersey Department of Education.

The waiver extension enables the NJDOE to continue to allow each New Jersey seventh-grade student who is enrolled in an advanced-mathematics course (Algebra I, Algebra II, or Geometry) to take an end-of-course assessment commensurate with their course of study instead of a grade-specific mathematics assessment. Eighth-grade students will continue to be able to take the end-of-course assessment for the course in which they are enrolled instead of the Grade 8 mathematics assessment, as allowed under ESSA.

However, starting with the 2021-2022 school year, sixth-grade students enrolled in Algebra I will be required to take both the Grade 6 mathematics assessment and the Algebra I end-of-course assessment. These students will no longer be permitted to take only the Algebra I end-of-course assessment. The results of the Grade 6 math assessment will be used for school accountability calculations in the current year, while the results of the Algebra I assessment taken in sixth grade will be used to meet high school testing requirements under ESSA and be used for school accountability calculations when the student is in ninth grade. This change ensures that students are included in ESSA accountability calculations for each grade three through eight and once in high school.