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U.S. Department of Education: Promoting Educational Excellence for all Americans

Participation in Assessments (Sec. 300.160)

Section 300.160(b)(2), regarding accommodation guidelines that a State must develop, has been revised to clarify that the State guidelines must (A) identify the accommodations for each assessment that do not invalidate the score; and (B) instruct IEP Teams to select, for each assessment, only those accommodations that do not invalidate the score.

Proposed Sec.300.160(c), which would have required a State that has adopted modified academic achievement standards to have guidelines for the participation of students with disabilities in assessments based on those standards, has been removed. With the clarification in Sec.200.6(a)(3) that assessments based on modified academic achievement standards are alternate assessments, proposed Sec.300.160(c) is redundant with new Sec.300.160(c) (proposed Sec.300.160(d)).

Proposed Sec.300.160(d)(1), which requires a State (or in the case of a district-wide assessment, an LEA) to develop and implement alternate assessments and guidelines for children who cannot participate in regular assessments, even with accommodations, has been redesignated as new Sec.300.160(c)(1).

Proposed Sec.300.160(d)(2)(ii), which would have required a State to measure the achievement of children based on alternate academic achievement standards if a State has adopted those standards, has been changed by replacing ``alternate academic achievement standards'' with ``modified academic achievement standards,'' and clarifying that modified academic achievement standards are permitted for children who meet the State's criteria under Sec. 200.1(e)(2). Proposed Sec.300.160(d)(2)(ii) has been redesignated as Sec.300.160(c)(2)(ii).

A new Sec.300.160(c)(2)(iii) has been added, providing that, if a State has adopted alternate academic achievement standards, the State must measure the achievement of children with the most significant cognitive disabilities against those standards.

A new paragraph (d) has been added, requiring a State to provide IEP Teams with a clear explanation of the differences between assessments based on grade-level academic achievement standards and those based on modified or alternate academic achievement standards, including any effects of State or local policies on the student's education resulting from taking an alternate assessment based on alternate or modified academic achievement standards (such as whether only satisfactory performance on a regular assessment would qualify a student for a regular high school diploma).

A new paragraph (e) has been added, requiring a State to ensure that parents of a student selected to be assessed based on alternate or modified academic achievement standards are informed that their child's achievement will be measured based on alternate or modified academic achievement standards.

Proposed Sec.300.160(e), regarding reports on the assessment of students with disabilities, has been redesignated as Sec.300.160(f) and changed as follows:

(1) Proposed paragraph (e)(1) in Sec.300.160, which requires a State to report on the number of children with disabilities participating in regular assessments, and the number of those children who were provided accommodations that did not result in an invalid score, has been redesignated as Sec.300.160(f)(1).

(2) Proposed paragraph (e)(2) in Sec.300.160 has been redesignated as Sec.300.160(f)(2) and revised to require a State to report on the number of children participating in alternate assessments based on grade-level academic achievement standards.

(3) Proposed paragraph (e)(3) in Sec.300.160, which requires a State to report on the number of children with disabilities who are assessed based on alternate academic achievement standards, has been changed to require a State to report on the number of children with disabilities, if any, who are assessed based on modified academic achievement standards. The regulatory reference to alternate assessments based on alternate academic achievement standards has been deleted and proposed Sec.300.160(e)(3) has been redesignated as Sec.300.160(f)(3).

(4) Proposed paragraph (e)(4) in Sec.300.160, which requires a State to report on the number of children with disabilities who are assessed based on modified academic achievement standards, has been changed to require a State to report on the number of children with disabilities, if any, who are assessed based on alternate academic achievement standards. The regulatory reference to modified academic achievement standards has been deleted and proposed Sec.300.160(e)(4) has been redesignated as Sec.300.160(f)(4).

(5) Proposed paragraph (e)(5) in Sec.300.160, which required a State to report on the performance results of children with disabilities on regular assessments and on alternate assessments, has been clarified by specifically identifying alternate assessments based on grade-level academic achievement standards; alternate assessments based on modified academic achievement standards; and alternate assessments based on alternate academic achievement standards. It also has been revised to require that performance results for children with disabilities be compared to the achievement of all students, including children with disabilities. Proposed Sec. 300.160(e)(5) has been redesignated as Sec. 300.160(f)(5).

Proposed Sec. 300.160(f), regarding universal design, has been redesignated as Sec. 300.160(g).