June 28, 2001
Honorable Terry Bergeson
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Old Capitol Building
PO Box 47200
Olympia, WA 98504-7200
Dear Dr. Bergeson:
This is a follow up to your letters of April 19 and May 10, concerning the actions taken by Washington State to meet the Title I requirements of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Our peer review of Washington's assessment system indicated that the State needed to finish its 10th grade assessment, including the technical manual and performance standards, and confirm that the State disaggregates performance reports for all the required categories.
The April 19, letter from Bob Harmon of your office adequately documents the technical quality of the 10th grade Washington Assessment of Student Learning. In addition, the contract for the student record system indicates that you have taken the necessary action to develop and publicly disseminate fully disaggregated State, district, and school level performance reports.
A panel of expert peer reviewers will review Washington's 10th grade performance standards in the near future. We will notify you immediately of the results of that review.
In regard to implementing a revised alternate assessment, we understand that Washington is requesting additional time to meet that requirement. As requested in your May 10 letter, I am granting your request to waive the statutory deadline for having a final State assessment system in place in 2000-01 and granting an eighteen-month extension until December 2002.
Failure of the State to complete activities as scheduled may make it necessary for this office to consider the other courses of action available to the Department. Potential actions include requiring Washington to enter into a compliance agreement in order to remain eligible to receive Title I funds or initiating proceedings to withhold Title I funds from the State.
We will grant full approval of your system upon completion of the above actions as described in your May 10 letter,and approval of the 10th-grade performance standards. Please provide evidence of completion to the Department's Title I office by December 31, 2002. This evidence may take the form of guidance to local districts, sample reports, or other documents that show the changes that have been made.
We will work with you and your staff to support and monitor the implementation of your timeline waiver. If you would like to discuss this further, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Thomas M. Corwin
Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary