January 19, 2001
Honorable Paul LeMahieu
Superintendent of Education
Hawaii Department of Education
1390 Miller Street, #307
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Dear Paul LeMahieu:
It was a pleasure speaking with you about the outcome of the review of Hawaii's final assessment system under the Title I requirements of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. We appreciate the effort required to prepare for the review and hope that the process provides useful feedback that will support your State's efforts to monitor student progress toward challenging standards.
As a result of our discussions, it is clear to me that Hawaii has planned and is in the process of implementing a comprehensive system of standards and assessments. However, several components of the system are still under development and need to be completed prior to Hawaii's receiving full approval of its final assessment system.
To receive full approval as a final Title I assessment system, Hawaii must complete the following tasks:
- Formalize performance standards with evidence of broad-based involvement, alignment, challenge, and inclusion of all students.
- Submit evidence that all students are included in the assessment system. For students classified as Limited English Proficient (LEP), Students of Limited Proficiency (SLEP) and Fully English Proficient (FEP), placement criterion needs to be communicated clearly to schools. A description of the procedures that are used to assure consistent classification across all schools should be submitted.
- Submit evidence of technical quality for review.
- Document how assessment results will be reported for individuals, schools, and districts. Include information on reporting profiles for students who may not have demonstrated competencies in the initial grade.
Page 2 - Honorable Paul LeMahieu
Because your full assessment system is not scheduled to be in place until the end of the 2000-2001 school year, you will need to submit a request for a two-year waiver to stay in compliance with Title I requirements. Within 30 days, please submit a detailed plan addressing each of the items identified for completion.
Please note that review of Hawaii's assessment system for Title I is not a determination 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 Hawaii's assessment documents. We hope this information will be useful to the Hawaii Department of Education in its efforts to implement a high quality assessment system.