Draft October 19, 2012
Deborah Delisle, Assistant Secretary
Office of Elementary and Secondary Education
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Suite 3W230
Washington, DC 20202
Dear Assistant Secretary Delisle:
Subject: Waiver to All Interested Local Educational Agencies with Schools Identified for Improvement (34 Code of Federal Regulations Section 200.37[b][iv]) to Notify Parents of School Improvement Status 14 Days Prior to the Onset of the School Year
The State of California hereby submits for your consideration a request for a one-year waiver of the Title I, Part A regulatory provision that requires a local educational agency (LEA) to provide notice of public school choice options at least 14 days before the start of the school year with respect to students in schools that are potentially newly identified for improvement for the 2012–13 school year, or that could possibly have exited improvement, corrective action, or restructuring for the 2012–13 school year but for whom there are currently no achievement data available.
Under the federal law, an LEA must provide notice of public school choice options at least 14 days before the start of the school year. California LEAs in receipt of Title I, Part A, funds currently implement this requirement to the extent practicable, i.e., as soon as the state’s contractor makes the student achievement data available in any fiscal year.
In April 2012, the California Department of Education (CDE) was informed of potential breaches in security for the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Program when it was discovered that students had posted images of test materials to social networking sites. While most of the posted images did not contain test items or completed answer documents, the CDE takes any breaches in security very seriously. As a result, the CDE and STAR testing contractor, Educational Testing Service (ETS), have conducted a variety of psychometric and content analyses of the 2012 test results.
While these analyses have found no significant impact on any test results, conducting these analyses have resulted in a delay of the reported outcomes of the 2012 STAR results. As a consequence, the Accountability Progress Report (APR) is now scheduled to be released in early October 2012. APR results are used in California to identify schools for entry, exit and advancement in improvement status.
Prior to submitting this waiver request, California provided the public and all LEAs in the State with notice and a reasonable opportunity to comment on this request. California provided such notice by publishing a public item on the State Board of Education Public Notices Web page, which can be accessed at http://www.cde.ca.gov/be/pn/pn/.
If you have any questions regarding this subject, please contact Deborah V.H. Sigman, Deputy Superintendent, District, School and Innovation Branch, by phone at 916-319-0812 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.