Honorable Richard P. Mills
Commissioner of Education
New York Education Department
111 Education Building
89 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12234
Dear Commissioner Mills:
I am pleased to approve New York's final assessment system under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. I appreciate the actions your agency has taken to bring New York into full compliance with the 1994 Title I requirements.
The Department granted New York a waiver of timeline that expired on January 31, 2002. The timeline waiver was granted to allow time for New York to modify existing school report materials to include all the disaggregated data and performance comparisons required by Title I; provide an assurance of local distribution of individual student reports; administer and report results from the Alternate Assessment and devise a method of including the results from that assessment as a measure of school progress at grades 4 and 8; and approve revisions to the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education as needed to support these changes.
Department staff have reviewed evidence that New York now includes all the disaggregated data and performance comparisons as required by Title I. The evidence you provided consisted of samples of both school and individual student reports, as well as an example of annual letters to districts referencing the requirement for local educational agencies to provide parents with their child's individual assessment reports. New York administered its Alternate Assessment for the first time during the 2001-02 school year. The March 2001 field memo that you submitted provides details on its administration and use, including your commitment to incorporate results in the State accountability system. Program and Office of Counsel staff in your agency determined that these changes in the New York assessment system could be implemented without the need to revise current Regulations. On the basis of the submission of this additional information, and the evaluation conducted by the U.S. Department of Education, we grant approval of New York's assessment system.
Please be aware that approval of New York'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. Finally, please remember that if you make significant changes to your assessment or accountability system, you must submit information about those changes to the Department as required by section 1111(e)(2) of Title I.
Staff in the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education have enjoyed working with your staff in this endeavor. Please accept our congratulations on a fully approved assessment system.
Susan B. Neuman, Ed.D