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

Reports (New Sec.300.160(f)) (Proposed Sec.300.160(e))

(originally published on April 9, 2007 – 72 FR 17748; effective date – May 9, 2007)

Comment: One commenter strongly disagreed with reporting on the number of students with disabilities who receive accommodations. The commenter stated that, since accommodations do not change the outcome or alter the knowledge measured by the test, it is inappropriate to maintain this information.

Discussion: This is a statutory requirement and therefore cannot be deleted. Section 612(a)(16)(D)(i) of the IDEA requires a State (or in the case of a district-wide assessment, an LEA) to make available to the public information on the number of children with disabilities participating in regular assessments and the number of these children who were provided accommodations in order to participate in those assessments.

Changes: None.

(originally published on April 9, 2007 – 72 FR 17748; effective date – May 9, 2007)

Comment: A few commenters stated that accommodations that invalidate a test score should not be used and, therefore, it is unnecessary to qualify in new Sec.300.160(f)(1) (proposed Sec.300.160(e)(1)) that the number of children participating in regular assessments who were provided with accommodations refers to the number of children participating in regular assessments who were provided with accommodations “that did not result in an invalid score.”

Discussion: We agree that accommodations that invalidate a test score should not be used. However, given the lack of consistency in the field regarding the use of the term ``accommodations,'' we believe it is important to be clear and to qualify in new Sec.300.160(f)(1) (proposed Sec.300.160(e)(1)) that reports on the assessment of children with disabilities who participate in regular assessments with accommodations include only those children who were provided with accommodations that did not result in an invalid score. For clarity, we also have reordered the sequence in which the alternate assessments are listed in new paragraph (f) (proposed paragraph (e)) to be consistent with the order in new Sec.300.160(c)(2) (proposed Sec.300.160(d)(2)).

Changes: We have redesignated proposed Sec.300.160(e)(3), regarding alternate academic achievement standards, as new Sec.300.160(f)(4) and redesignated proposed Sec.300.160(e)(4)), regarding modified academic achievement standards, as new Sec.300.160(f)(3).

(originally published on April 9, 2007 – 72 FR 17748; effective date – May 9, 2007)

Comment: A few commenters recommended requiring a State to report on the number of children with disabilities who participated in the regular assessment with accommodations that invalidated their test scores. One commenter recommended requiring a State to report on the number of children who received accommodations that invalidated their test scores on alternate assessments based on alternate academic achievement standards and alternate assessments based on modified academic achievement standards.

Discussion: Children taking an assessment with accommodations that invalidate their score should not be reported as participants. We specify in Sec.300.160(b)(2)(ii) that a State must instruct IEP Teams to select only those accommodations for each assessment that do not result in invalid scores. Therefore, we decline to make the changes requested by the commenters.

Changes: None.

(originally published on April 9, 2007 – 72 FR 17748; effective date – May 9, 2007)

Comment: One commenter requested that a State be required to report on the performance of children with disabilities for each assessment, not just for regular assessments and alternate assessments.

Discussion: We agree that the regulation would be clearer if it identified separately 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. We have made this change in new Sec.300.160(f)(5) (proposed Sec.300.160(e)(5)). In addition, we have added the language inadvertently omitted requiring the performance results for children with disabilities to be compared to the achievement of all children, including children with disabilities, as specified in section 612(a)(16)(D)(iv) of the Act.

Changes: We have changed Sec.300.160(f)(5) (proposed Sec.300.160(e)(5)) to separately identify regular assessments, 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. We also have added an introductory phrase requiring comparison with assessment results for all children, including children with disabilities.

(originally published on April 9, 2007 – 72 FR 17748; effective date – May 9, 2007)

Comment: One commenter recommended requiring a State to widely distribute information about the reports required in new Sec.300.160(f) (proposed Sec.300.160(e)) by posting the reports on Web sites, making the reports available in schools and libraries, and providing parents with notices that the information is available.

Discussion: New Sec.300.160(f) (proposed Sec.300.160(e)), consistent with section 612(a)(16)(D)(i) of the IDEA, requires a State (or in the case of a district-wide assessment, an LEA) to make available to the public, and report to the public, with the same frequency and in the same detail as it reports on the assessment of nondisabled children, the information outlined in new Sec.300.160(f) (proposed Sec.300.160(e)) regarding the participation and performance of children with disabilities on State and district-wide assessments. The manner in which the information is provided to the public (e.g., via Web sites, parent notices) is a matter that is best left to State and local officials to determine.

Changes: None.