December 2, 2008
The Honorable Elizabeth Burmaster
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
125 South Webster Street
P.O. Box 7841
Madison, Wisconsin 53707-7841
Dear Superintendent Burmaster:
I am pleased to approve Wisconsin'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; an assessment system that produces valid and reliable results is fundamental to a state's accountability system.
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 Wisconsin. I have concluded that the evidence demonstrates that Wisconsin's standards and assessment system satisfies the ESEA requirements. Specifically, Wisconsin's system includes academic content and student academic achievement standards in reading/language arts, mathematics, and science; alternate academic achievement standards for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities in those subjects; assessments in each of grades 3 through 8 and grade 10 in reading/language arts and mathematics and in grades 4, 8, and 10 in science; and alternate assessments in reading/language arts, mathematics and science. Accordingly, Wisconsin's system warrants Full Approval. This status means that Wisconsin's standards and assessment system meets all statutory and regulatory requirements for reading/language arts, mathematics and science.
Please be aware that approval of Wisconsin's standards and assessment system under the ESEA 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. Please remember that, if Wisconsin makes significant changes to 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 on your state's approved standards and assessment system under the ESEA. I wish you well in your continued efforts to improve student achievement in Wisconsin.
Kerri L. Briggs, Ph.D.
cc: Governor Jim Doyle