Priority Notice: Maine DOE seeks assessment waiver

The following notice was sent to Superintendents, District Assessment Coordinators and Special Education Directors on November 30, 2017.

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), limits the percentage of students assessed using an alternate assessment to no more than one percent (1%) of the total number of students assessed in the state.

The Maine DOE and Maine’s special education directors have steadily been working toward this goal through trainings about criteria and reviews of student data.  As a result, Maine’s percentage of tested students who participate in the alternate assessment is steadily decreasing.  However, in 2016-17, the percentage remains greater than 1%.  While we are working to meet the 1% statewide limit on the 2017-18 test administration, we are not certain that we will reach that target.

Therefore, the Maine DOE will request a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education from the requirements of 34 C.F.R. §200.6(c)(4), that limit the allowable percentage to no more than 1%.  The waiver request will provide: (1) data regarding progress toward the 1% expectation, (2) documentation of our increased efforts in implementing the guidance criteria, and (3) justification for Maine’s current alternate participation rate.

The Proposed USED 1% Waiver request is now available for review and public comment. Individuals and organizations may submit written comments on the proposed waiver request pursuant to 34 C.F.R.§200.6(c)(4) through December 14, 2017.

Questions and/or comments may be directed to Charlene Tucker, Director of Assessment, at