Twenty-four schools across Virginia have requested waivers from mandatory science and social studies tests.
John Adams Elementary School in Alexandria, as well as three elementary schools in Manassas City, have asked the Virginia Board of Education for a waiver from mandatory testing for third-graders for science and social studies proficiency.
The schools say they would rather use the instructional time to bolster the reading skills of children who now read below grade level.
The waivers were introduced this year as a way to allow Virginia schools to invest more time in teaching fundamental reading skills to third-graders, which will play a major role in their future academic development.
Under the waivers, students getting the extra reading help would still need to get science and social studies instruction, but their test scores would not be used to penalize the school for sub-par performance.
Twenty-four schools statewide have applied for the waivers. The Virginia Board of Education is scheduled to grant waivers to qualified applications in late June.