2010-2011 Alternate Assessment 1% Proficiency Cap Waiver Request

ADMINISTRATIVE LETTER NO: 35
POLICY CODE: ILB

TO: Superintendents
FROM: Stephen L. Bowen, Commissioner of Education
DATE: March 29, 2011
RE: 2010-2011 Alternate Assessment 1% Proficiency Cap Waiver Request

Key Point Covered in this Administrative Letter:

  • 1% Waiver Request

The Maine Comprehensive Assessment System (MeCAS) is a statewide instructionally supportive assessment system that complies with the requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, as amended (IDEA). In order to hold schools accountable for the academic performance of students, these federal Acts and Maine state rules require that all students, including those with disabilities, participate in state-required assessments in grades 3-8 and one time in high school.

How a student with disabilities will participate in assessments is determined by each student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) team, at least annually. Teams should have a systematic basis for considering which assessment meets the educational needs of a student with a disability. The Personalized Alternate Assessment Portfolio (PAAP) provides an alternate assessment for a small number of students with the most significant cognitive disabilities who are unable to take part in the standard assessment even with accommodations.

Please note that, for each School Administrative Unit (SAU), the number of proficient or above scores on the alternate assessment that may be counted for NCLB accountability purposes cannot exceed 1% of all students in the grades assessed. We recognize that some SAUs will be assessing more than 1% of their students with the PAAP. In order to count all proficient or above students assessed with alternate standards for NCLB accountability purposes, SAUs must be approved for a waiver of the 1% cap. A request for a waiver must:

Demonstrate that the incidence of students with the most significant cognitive disabilities in the SAU exceeds 1% of all students in the combined grades assessed;

Explain why the incidence of such students exceeds 1% of all students in the combined grades assessed; and

Document that the SAU is implementing the “Guidelines for Participation in Maine’s Alternate Assessment,” available at http://www.maine.gov/education/lsalt/paap/materialstools/index.htm

If applicable, please complete the 1% PROFICIENCY CAP WAIVER REQUEST found at: http://www.maine.gov/education/lsalt/paap/materialstools/index.htm, and fax to the MDOE (624-6821) no later than April 30th, 2011.

Questions regarding the waiver request should be directed to Susan Fossett, Alternate Assessment Coordinator, Peter Bernard, Alternate Assessment, or Rachelle Tome, ESEA Federal Programs-Accountability.

Contact Information

Alternate Assessment: Susan Fossett, at (207) 624-6774 or mailto:susan.fossett@maine.gov
Peter Bernard, at (207) 624-6678 or mailto:peter.bernard@maine.gov

Accountability Policy: Rachelle Tome, at (207) 624-6705 or mailto:rachelle.tome@maine.gov