August 3, 2001
Honorable Ray Christensen
Secretary of Education
Department of Education and Cultural Affairs
700 Governors Drive
Pierre, South Dakota 57501-2291
Dear Secretary Christensen:
I am writing to inform you that the U.S. Department of Education is granting a waiver of timeline to the South Dakota State Office of Education in order to give the State additional time to meet the assessment requirements of Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. This waiver is for the 2001-2002 and 2002-2003 school years and will expire on June 30, 2003.
The waiver is intended to allow South Dakota time to (1) complete the development of English/language arts and mathematics performance standards, (2) complete the alignment of standards and assessments, (3) develop an alternate format for those not taking the Dakota Assessment of Content standards on-line, (4) provide participation data from the 2001-2002 administration of the State assessment confirming the inclusion of students with disabilities and limited proficiency in English, (5) provide evidence that your State's Title I accountability system includes results from alternate assessments, and (6) produce reports of test results disaggregated by all groups required by the statute, particularly reports for migrant students and a comparison of disabled to non-disabled students.
The waiver will permit South Dakota to continue receiving Title I funds while conducting the activities needed to produce the items noted above. During the waiver period, you have agreed to provide quarterly updates and submit products as evidence that your agency is meeting its timeline plan. Before the waiver expires, South Dakota must provide the Department with evidence that the State Office of Education has completed all Title I requirements for final approval of a State assessment system.
Please understand that this waiver of timeline for South Dakota'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.
We look forward to South Dakota's submission of evidence warranting full approval.
Susan B. Neuman, Ed.D.