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Kansas Assessment Letter

May 25, 2007

The Honorable Dale Dennis
Interim Commissioner of Education
Kansas State Department of Education
120 SE 10th Avenue
Topeka, Kansas 66612-1182

Dear Commissioner Dennis:

I am pleased to approve Kansas' assessment system under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). I congratulate you on meeting this important NCLB requirement.

My decision is based on input from peer reviewers external to the U.S. Department of Education (the Department) and Department staff who reviewed and carefully considered the evidence submitted by Kansas. I have concluded that the evidence demonstrates that Kansas' standards and assessment system satisfies the NCLB requirements. Specifically, Kansas' system includes academic content standards in reading/language arts, mathematics, and science; student achievement standards in reading/language arts and mathematics; alternate achievement standards for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities in reading/language arts and mathematics; grade-level assessments in each of grades 3-8 and high school in reading/language arts and mathematics; and the Kansas Alternate Assessment in each of grades 3-8 and high school in reading/language arts and mathematics.

Accordingly, Kansas' system warrants Full Approval with Recommendations. This status means that Kansas' standards and assessment system meets all statutory and regulatory requirements for reading/language arts and mathematics. This status means that Kansas' standards and assessment system meets all statutory and regulatory requirements, but that the assessment system could be strengthened in some ways. It is recommended that Kansas continue to improve the student-level reports to provide more explanatory materials for parents to support the appropriate understanding and use of test results.

Please be aware that approval of Kansas's assessment system under NCLB 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 Kansas makes significant changes in its assessment system, the State must submit information about those changes to the Department for review and approval. I know that Kansas has developed and administered the Kansas Assessment of Multiple Measures (KAMM), which is an alternate assessment based on modified academic achievement standards. Now that the Department has issued final regulations governing these assessments, Kansas will need to demonstrate that the KAMM complies with the regulations in order for Kansas to include the results of the assessment in adequate yearly progress determinations. Please note that approval of Kansas' system does not include the KAMM at this time.

We have found it a pleasure working with your staff on this review. Please accept my congratulations for your State's approved standards and assessment system under NCLB. I wish you well in your continued efforts to improve student achievement in Kansas.

Sincerely,

Kerri L. Briggs, Ph.D.
Acting Assistant Secretary

cc: Governor Kathleen Sebelius
Tom Foster

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Last Modified: 05/30/2007