October 30, 2008
The Honorable Steve Paine
State Superintendent of Schools
West Virginia Department of Education
Building 6, 1900 Kanawha Blvd. E.
Charleston, West Virginia 25305-0330
Dear Superintendent Paine:
Thank you for submitting assessment materials for peer review under the standards and assessment requirements of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). We appreciate the efforts required to prepare for the latest peer review in August 2008.
Based on the evidence received from West Virginia regarding its alternate assessments based on alternate academic achievement standards (AA-AAAS) for science, the West Virginia Alternate Performance Task Assessment (APTA), which was reviewed by the peers and Department staff, we have concluded that West Virginia's science APTA does not yet meet all the statutory and regulatory requirements of section 1111(b)(1) and (3) of the ESEA. To demonstrate full compliance of its science APTA, West Virginia must submit evidence of the completion of the technical quality information, confirmation of the standards setting based on the spring 2008 operational administration of the science APTA, and data regarding the assessment of students with disabilities. The complete list of evidence that West Virginia must submit is enclosed with this letter.
Please keep in mind that the science APTA represents one piece of a state's complete standards and assessment system, which also includes general and alternate assessments for reading and mathematics and general assessments in science. As stated in the June 26, 2006, letter to you from former Assistant Secretary Henry L. Johnson, West Virginia's standards and assessment system is currently fully approved. To remain fully approved, West Virginia must demonstrate that all components of its standards and assessment system, including general and alternate assessments for reading, mathematics, and science, comply with all ESEA requirements for standards and assessment systems as administered in 2008-2009.
We look forward to working with West Virginia to support a high-quality standards and assessment system of which science standards and assessments are an integral part. If you would like to discuss this further, please do not hesitate to contact Grace Ross (Grace.Ross@ed.gov) or Abigail Rogers (Abigail.Rogers@ed.gov) of my staff.
Kerri L. Briggs, Ph.D.
cc: Governor Joe Manchin
SUMMARY OF ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE THAT WEST VIRGINIA MUST SUBMIT TO MEET ESEA REQUIREMENTS FOR ITS ALTERNATE ASSESSMENT BASED ON ALTERNATE ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT STANDARDS FOR SCIENCE
2.0 - ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT STANDARDS
- The number and percentage of students with disabilities assessed in spring 2008 against alternate academic achievement standards in science and those included in the general science assessment (including those administered with appropriate accommodations).
4.0 - TECHNICAL QUALITY
- An updated technical manual for the 2008 operational alternate assessment based on alternate academic achievement standards in science that includes operational data for reliability and validity.
- Evidence that the state reviewed and confirmed the standards setting based on the operational assessment and the process used to finalize the cut scores.