June 29, 2007
The Honorable Wayne G. Sanstead
North Dakota Department of Public Instruction
600 East Boulevard Avenue
Bismark, ND 58505-0440
Dear Superintendent Sanstead:
I am pleased to approve North Dakota's standards and 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 North Dakota. I have concluded that the evidence demonstrates that North Dakota's standards and assessment system satisfies the NCLB requirements. Specifically, North Dakota's 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; and assessments and alternate assessments in each of grades 3-8 and high school in reading/language arts and mathematics. Accordingly, North Dakota's system warrants Full Approval. This status means that North Dakota's standards and assessment system meets all statutory and regulatory requirements for reading/language arts and mathematics.
Please be aware that approval of North Dakota'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 North Dakota makes significant changes in its assessment system, the State must submit information about those changes to the Department for review and approval.
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 North Dakota.
Kerri L. Briggs
cc: Governor John Hoeven