Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

AAV of Item 01 Attachment 2

This page is the Accessible Alternative Version (AAV) of Item 01 Attachment 2 from the California State Board of Education (SBE) Meeting Agenda for September 2017. The scanned Item 01 Attachment 2 (PDF) version is considered to be the official version of the document.

Office of Elementary and Secondary Education

Date Stamped: August 16, 2017

The Honorable Michael W. Kirst, President
California State Board of Education
1430 N Street, Suite 5111
Sacramento. CA 95814

The Honorable Tom Torlakson
Superintendent of Public Instruction
California Department of Education
1430 N Street, Suite 5602
Sacramento, CA 95814-5901

Dear President Kirst and Superintendent Torlakson:

I am writing in response to the California Department of Education's (CDE) request on April 28, 2017, and amended on June 14, 20 I 7, for a one-year waiver under section 8401 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), related to CDE's implementation of new general and alternate science assessments.

CDE requested this one-year waiver to support its transition to new general and alternate science assessments aligned with the State's new academic content standards, the California Next Generation Science Standards. For the 20 l 6-2017 school year, COE administered a pilot of the California Science Test (CAST), for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities, the California Alternate Assessment for Science to all students in the grades in which science tests are administered. During the 2016-20 l 7 school year, CDE did not administer its current science assessments (either the general or alternate assessments) that were aligned to the State's previous content standards and did not report individual student level data to parents, educators or the public. Specifically, CDE's waiver request includes a plan for test development and timeline for implementation from pilot status to fully operational status for the CAST.

As you know, on January 18, 2017, the U.S. Department of Education (the Department) denied a similar waiver request from CDE, although that request was for a two-year waiver for the general science assessment and a three-year waiver for the alternate science assessment. Upon further consideration and careful review of CDE's new request, and because I believe the waiver will benefit school children in California, I am approving CDE’s request for the 2016-2017 school year and waiving the following statutory requirements of the ESEA, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), which was in effect during the 2016-2017 school year:

  • h ESEA sections 1 J 11 (b)( l )(A) and (C) and 1111 (b)(3)(A) and (C)(ii) and (v)(ll), which require ah State to establish student academic achievement standards in science and implement high­ quality, yearly student academic assessments in science that are aligned with those standards toh measure student achievement and to inform instruction.h
  • h ESEA sections 1111 (b)(3)(C)(xii) and (xv) and l l ll(h)(l)(C)(i) and (2)(B), which require theh State to provide individual student reports to parents, teachers and principals and to include theh results of science assessments on State and local report cards.h

Please note that this waiver is applicable only for the science assessments administered in the 2016- 2017 school year, during the administration of the full census pilot of the CAST and the California Alternate Assessment for Science.

Please note that a failure to administer general and alternate assessments in the 2017-2018 school year that meet all requirements would result in CDE being out of compliance with Title I of the ESEA and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which could trigger one of a number of actions, including withholding of funds.

We appreciate our continued relationship with CDE and remain committed to working with you. lf you have any questions, please contact Nkemjika Ofodile-Carruthers of my staff at: Thank you for your continued commitment to ensuring that all students have access to a high-quality education.


Jason Botel
Acting Assistant Secretary

cc: Keric Ashley, Deputy Superintendent, District, School and Innovation Branch

Questions: State Board of Education | | 916-319-0827 
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, August 8, 2023
Related Content
Recently Posted in Meeting Agendas & Schedule
No items posted in the last 60 days.