January 18, 2001
Honorable Jo Lynne DeMary
Department of Education
James Monroe Building
Fourteenth and Franklin Streets
Richmond, Virginia 23128
Dear Commissioner DeMary:
It was a pleasure speaking with you about the outcome of the review of Virginia's final assessment system under the Title I requirements of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. We appreciate the effort required to prepare for the review and hope that the process provides useful feedback that will support your State's efforts to monitor student progress toward challenging standards. I appreciate your cooperation in making the changes in your assessment system that were necessary to meet the requirements of Section 1111(b)(3) and 1116(a) of Title I. On the basis of those changes, I am pleased to provide full approval for Virginia' final assessment system.
As we discussed, external peer reviewers and U.S. Department of Education staff evaluated Virginia's submission and found it to be in substantial conformance with the Title I requirements. Based on conversations with your staff and follow-up documentation, Virginia will make the following changes for the 2000-2001 test administration to meet the requirements of Section 1111(b)(3) and 1116(a) of Title I.
- Virginia will include the results of all students, including limited English proficient students, in the State's system for measuring school progress under Title I for the 2000-2001 test administration.
- Virginia will include in its disaggregated State, district, and school level performance reports the achievement results for migrant students, disabled students compared to non-disabled students, and economically disadvantaged students compared to non-economically disadvantaged students where statistically sound.
Enclosed with this letter are detailed comments from the peer review team that evaluated Virginia's assessment documents. We hope this information will be useful to the Virginia Department of Education in its efforts to continue a high-quality assessment system.
Please be aware that approval of Virginia'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 significant changes are made to Virginia's assessment and/or accountability system, you must submit information about those changes to the Department as required by section 1111(e)(2) of Title I.
Congratulations on a fully approved assessment system.