SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Spring assessments will not be canceled according to the Secretary of the New Mexico Public Education Department Ryan Stewart in a statement Thursday. According to a press release, Stewart is requesting the requirement that 95% of New Mexico students participate in the assessments be waived by the U.S. Department of Education. Instead, the NMPED is asking to test a representative sample of students.

In the statement, Stewart says the sample would provide them with the information educators, families,and communities need to gauge academic progress. He says they’ve put in their request for a waiver as of Feb. 17.

On Monday, the USCE announced it would not waive spring assessments for all schools but invited states to request whatever flexibility they needed to get testing done during the pandemic. Stewart says reports that their waiver was denied are inaccurate.