May 22, 2000
Kentucky Department of Education
500 Mero Street
Frankfort, KY 40601
Dear Mr. Noland:
It was a pleasure speaking with you about the outcome of the review of Kentucky's final assessment system under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. I would like to thank you again for participating in the pilot peer review. We learned a great deal from the review of your materials and very much appreciate the efforts required to prepare for the review.
As we discussed, I am providing conditional approval for Kentucky's final assessment system, based on the evaluation of external peer reviewers. The review found that, except for the features noted below, Kentucky's assessment system meets the requirements of Section 1111(b)(3) and 1116(a) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
To receive full approval as a final Title I assessment system, the following changes in Kentucky's assessment policy or procedures must be made:
- Revise the existing Kentucky LEP exclusion policy to agree with the Title I requirements. Section 1111(b)(3)(G) of the statute makes clear the only category of students who are exempt from testing are students who have not attended schools in the local educational agency for a full academic year. Apart from these students, Title I exempts no others. Enclosed is a summary of the Title I inclusion requirements.
- Modify reports to display all performance subgroups required under Section 1111(b)(3)(I): gender, each major racial and ethnic group, English proficiency status, migrant status, students with disabilities as compared to non-disabled students, and economically disadvantaged students as compared to students who are not economically disadvantaged.
These changes must be made prior to the 2000-2001 administration of your assessments. Please send your plan for making these changes to Mary Jean LeTendre, Director of Title I, within 30 days of receipt of this letter. We will work with you and your staff to support and monitor the implementation of your plan. When the required changes have been completed, the assessment system will be fully approved.
If, over time, changes are made to Kentucky's assessment system, you must submit information about those changes to the Department as required by section 1111(e)(2) of Title I. For example, demographic changes in Kentucky may warrant changes in the assessment system. If the limited English proficient population (LEP) increases, you may need to reexamine the manner in which LEP students are assessed, particularly the practicability of assessing those students in their native language in order to best determine what they know and can do.
In addition, the approval of Kentucky'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.
Again, thank you for submitting materials for the pilot peer review. We look forward to working with Kentucky to support high quality in the assessment system. If you would like to discuss this further, please do not hesitate to call me.