March 1, 2003
Honorable Steven O. Laing
Superintendent of Public Instruction
State Office of Education
250 East 500 South
Salt Lake City, Utah 84111
Dear Superintendent Laing:
I am writing with regard to Utah's timeline waiver to complete its final assessment system required under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended by the Improving America's Schools Act of 1994 (IASA). On the basis of the evidence provided, I am pleased to approve Utah's final assessment system under Title I of the IASA. Please note that this approval does not cover the new requirements under Title I as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.
The waiver, granted on July 30, 2001, was intended to allow Utah time to: (1) develop secondary-level English/language arts performance standards, (2) produce participation data from the 2001-2002 administration of the State assessment confirming the inclusion of students with disabilities and limited proficiency in English, (3) provide evidence that the Title I accountability system includes results from alternate assessments, and (4) document that disaggregated reports of test results by all groups required by statute are being generated, particularly reports for migrant students and a comparison of disabled to non-disabled students. Staff and peer reviewers' evaluations verify that Utah's evidence satisfies the IASA requirements.
Please be aware that approval of Utah'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. Also, please remember that, if Utah makes significant changes to its assessment system, Utah must submit information on these changes to the Department as required by section 1111 (f)(2) of Title I.
It has been a pleasure working with your staff on this review. You have my congratulations on a fully approved assessment system for the IASA requirements.
Eugene W. Hickok