January 19, 2001
Honorable David S. Wolk
Department of Education
120 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05620
Dear Commissioner Wolk:
It was a pleasure speaking with you about the outcome of the review of Vermont'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 Vermont' final assessment system.
As we discussed, external peer reviewers and U.S. Department of Education staff evaluated Vermont'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, Vermont 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.
- Vermont will report and include the results of all students, including students with disabilities who take the alternate assessment, in the State's system for measuring school progress under Title I for the 2000-2001 test administration.
- Vermont will include in its disaggregated district, and school level performance reports the achievement results for limited English proficient students, migrant students, and disabled students compared to non-disabled students where statistically sound.
Enclosed with this letter are detailed comments from the peer review team that evaluated Vermont's assessment documents. We hope this information will be useful to the Vermont Department of Education in its efforts to continue a high-quality assessment system.
Please be aware that approval of Vermont'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 Vermont'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.