January 26, 2004
The Honorable Susan Castillo
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Oregon Department of Education
255 Capitol Street, N.E.
Salem, OR 97310-0203
Dear Superintendent Castillo:
I am writing in response to Oregon's proposed amendment to its State accountability plan under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). Oregon has proposed amending the State's handling of multiple test administrations for students who participate in the State's online assessment system. Oregon's online testing system (TESA) provides multiple assessment opportunities during a year. Each administration presents students with a separate test made up of a new set of items. Every test is aligned with and scored against the standards set for the end of the student's grade. If a student meets the standard for his or her grade on any administration prior to the official administration date in the spring, that student will be counted as meeting the standard for purposes of calculating adequate yearly progress (AYP). I am pleased to approve the multiple test administration amendment that Oregon submitted to the Department on December 19, 2003.
If, over time, Oregon wishes to make other amendments to the State's approved accountability plan, Oregon must submit information about those changes to the Department for review and approval. Approval of Oregon's accountability plan is not also an approval of Oregon's standards and assessment system.
Please also be aware that this letter does not address whether Oregon's accountability system for Title I, including the amendment approved above, complies with Federal civil rights requirements, including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and requirements under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
I am confident that Oregon will continue to advance its efforts to hold schools and school districts accountable for the achievement of all students. I wish you well in your school improvement efforts. If I can be of any assistance to Oregon in its efforts to implement other aspects of NCLB, please do not hesitate to call.
Raymond J. Simon
Office of Elementary and Secondary Education