January 19, 2001
William J. Moloney
Commissioner of Education
Colorado Department of Education
201 E. Colfax Avenue, Room 500
Denver, CO 80203
Dear Commissioner Moloney:
I am writing to inform you that the Department has approved your request for a waiver of timeline for Colorado's final assessment system, based on the evaluation conducted by external peer reviewers and U.S. Department of Education staff. With this waiver, Colorado has until the end of June 2001 to complete the following parts of the system identified as not meeting the requirements of Section 1111(b)(3) and 1116(a) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act:
- Complete the setting and passage of performance standards for elementary mathematics and for the 10-12 gradespan.
- Complete a technical manual for the high school assessment, and
- Revise the existing State reporting procedure to meet the Title I requirements. Section 1111(b) (3)(I) of the statute makes clear that, "The State assessments shall-Enable results to be disaggregated within each State, local educational agency, and school by gender, by each major racial and ethnic group, by English proficiency status, by migrant status, by students with disabilities as compared to nondisabled students, and by economically disadvantaged students as compared to students who are not economically disadvantaged." Colorado reports currently include all required disaggregation categories except economically disadvantaged students as compared to students who are not economically disadvantaged.
When evidence of these changes has been submitted to ED, the assessment system will be fully approved.
If, over time, changes are made to Colorado's assessment system, the State must submit information about those changes to the Department as required by section 1111(e)(2) of Title I.
Please note that the approval of Colorado's assessment system for Title I does not mean that the system 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.
Enclosed with this letter are detailed comments from the peer review team that evaluated the Colorado assessment documents. I hope you will find the reviewers' comments and suggestions helpful. We look forward to working with Colorado to support a high quality assessment system. If you would like to discuss this further, please do not hesitate to call me.