August 21, 2000
Dr. Terry Bergeson
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Old Capitol Building
PO Box 47200
Olympia, WA 98504-7200
Dear Dr. Bergeson:
It was a pleasure speaking with you about the outcome of the review of Washington's final assessment system under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. We appreciate the effort made by you and your staff in preparing for the review and congratulate you on a comprehensive and well-developed state assessment system.
As you know, Washington's assessment system was evaluated by a team of reviewers with expertise in the design of state assessment systems. I am including a copy of the peer review report for the assessment system, and hope the feedback it provides supports your ongoing effort to monitor student progress toward Washington's challenging standards.
Prior to the review of your assessment system, Washington's seventh grade performance standards were reviewed and approved. The peer reviewers for the performance standards were very impressed with Washington's methodology and documentation of the performance standard process and thought it was a model for other states.
As we discussed, it appears that Washington is in an excellent position to meet all Title I assessment requirements on time. Before final approval can be granted for Washington's assessment system, the performance standards and technical manual for the high school standards-based assessment needs to be completed. As soon as completed, Washington will need to submit the following to the Department:
- A description of the State's process for developing performance standards for the 10th grade;
- A technical manual for the 10th grade Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL);
- A copy of the contract verifying Washington's progress toward creating a measure of family poverty that can be used to disaggregate WASL scores into the categories of economically disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged.
We look forward to receiving these items and being able, as a result, to provide full approval for Washington's Title I assessment system.
Please note that if, over time, changes are made to the Washington assessment system, the State must submit information about those changes to the Department as required by Section 1111(e)(2) of Title I. Please also note that the approval of Washington's assessment system for Title I will not necessarily 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.
Thank you again for your hard work and cooperation with the Department's final assessment review process. We look forward to working with Washington to continue to support helping all student reach challenging standards. Please do not hesitate to call me if we need to discuss these issues further.