December 8, 2000
Honorable Nicholas Donohue
Interim Commissioner of Education
Department of Education
101 Pleasant Street
Concord, New Hampshire 03301
Dear Mr. Donohue:
Congratulations on being named Interim Commissioner. I look forward to continuing a positive working relationship with you and the State Education Agency. The purpose of this letter is to respond to New Hampshire’s plan for meeting the final assessment requirements under Title I as described in the September 26, 2000 letter to the Department.
In order to receive approval of its final assessment system under Title I, New Hampshire needed to: revise its policy to require that all students, including limited English proficient students, be assessed; include the results from the alternate assessment for students with disabilities in the accountability system and in state, district, and school reports; and provide the Department with technical reports and alignment studies.
In regard to the proposed policy for including all students in the assessment system, New Hampshire will send the policy approved by the State Board of Education and evidence that the policy is being implemented for the 2000-2001 test administration to the Title I office. As indicated in your letter, the State will also forward copies of its revised State, district, and school reports prior to the 2000-2001 test administration showing the results of students taking the alternate assessment as well as how these results are included in measures of school progress. When the above changes have been implemented, New Hampshire will have met those Title I requirements.
Though New Hampshire is on track to complete the technical manual and alignment study, it is unable to meet the Spring 2001 implementation deadline. Therefore, based on your September 26, 2000 letter, I am waiving the deadline and extending it until December 31, 2001. When the technical manual and alignment study have been completed, please forward them to the Director of Title I in the Department. The material will be peer reviewed and, if it meets the Title I requirements, New Hampshire will be granted full approval of its assessment system.
We will work with you and your staff to support and monitor the implementation of your timeline waiver. If you would like to discuss this further, please do not hesitate to contact me.