The New York State Education Department has canceled all elementary and intermediate-level state assessments for the rest of the school year, officials announced today.

Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa and Interim State Education Commissioner Shannon Tahoe said schools need to focus efforts on local and community needs, and they shouldn’t have to worry about state tests.

NYSED has applied for federal waivers for testing, accountability, and reporting requirements, they said.

The priority is to ensure that districts provide continuity of instruction for students to the greatest extent possible, state ed officials said.

This suspension for the remainder of the school year applies to the following New York State testing programs:

• Grades 3-8 English Language Arts Test.

• Grades 3-8 Mathematics Test.

• Grade 4 Elementary-Level Science Test.

• Grade 8 Intermediate-Level Science Test.

• English as a Second Language Achievement Test (NYSESLAT) in Grades K-12.

• Alternate Assessment (NYSAA) for students with severe cognitive disabilities in Grades 3-8 and high school.