October 25, 2001
Honorable Ted Stilwill
Director of Education
Iowa Department of Education
Grimes State Office Building
East 14th & Grand Streets
Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0146
Dear Director Stilwill:
Over the last several months, this office has been working with your agency regarding Iowa's status in meeting the assessment requirements of Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Iowa has requested a two-year timeline waiver of the deadline for completion of the assessment requirements. The purpose of this letter is to respond to that request.
I understand that it will take about two years for Iowa districts to complete the following tasks:
- alignment and technical quality evaluations of their final assessment systems; and
- reviews of the alignment and technical quality of those same assessments.
Further, it will take about one year for you to complete the following tasks:
- review district inclusion polices and accommodations;
- incorporate student performance data for all students into the evaluation of school progress; and
- generate disaggregated reports that include all of the Title I requirements.
In light of this information, I agree to grant a two-year waiver of the timeline for completion of Iowa's final assessment system. Once we have peer reviewed your evidence, we will be able to grant final approval of Iowa's local control assessment system.
I ask that your agency provide quarterly updates regarding your progress in completing the remaining requirements. The actions you include in Iowa's plan must be completed no later than December 1, 2003. Please provide evidence of completion for all of the final assessment system action steps to our Title I office. The evidence should include such items as policy guidance to local districts, documentation of district compliance with Title I assessment requirements, sample reports, or other documents that demonstrate changes made.
I am confident that Iowa will continue to advance State and local education improvement efforts, to improve student achievement, and to maintain strong accountability for results.
We wish you well in your efforts to improve school and student performance in your State.
Susan B. Neuman, Ed. D.