November 6, 2001
Honorable Vito A. Gagliardi
New Jersey Department of Education
P.O. Box 500
Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0500
Dear Commissioner Gagliardi:
I am writing to discuss the action plan for compliance with the assessment requirements of Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, recently submitted by New Jersey (as revised November 1). Because this plan addresses all of the changes needed to ensure New Jersey’s compliance with the statute, I agree to grant a two-year waiver of the timeline for completion of New Jersey’s final assessment system. New Jersey has already made several of the changes required, but we understand that additional time is required to complete the changes in policy and procedures needed for full implementation of a complete assessment system that includes all students. The revised assessment system must be fully implemented in the 2002-03 school year.
I appreciate your cooperation in agreeing to make the changes in your assessment system that are necessary for New Jersey to meet the requirements of sections 1111(b)(3) and 1116(a) of the Act. Our Title I office will monitor progress against the timeline you provided. Failure of the State to complete activities or products as scheduled in the first twelve months will make it necessary for this office to consider the other courses of action available to the Department, including the possibility of initiating proceedings to withhold Title I funds from New Jersey.
Our Title I office will be happy to work with you and your staff to achieve consistency between the Title I requirements and the New Jersey assessment system. We wish you well in your efforts to improve school and student performance in your State.
Susan B. Neuman, Ed. D.