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December 2017 Memo PPTB ADAD Item 01 Attachment 01

California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
November 27, 2017

Jason Botel, Acting Assistant Secretary
Office of Elementary and Secondary Education
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202

Dear Acting Assistant Secretary Botel:

The California Department of Education (CDE) would like to thank you for approving our one-year waiver, which allowed California to not double test or report student test scores in science for the 2016–17 school year. The U.S. Department of Education (ED) acknowledged, in a letter dated August 16, 2017, that the waiver would benefit California schoolchildren. This letter provides assurance that, beginning with the 2017– 18 school year, California will be in compliance with those sections of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) that were waived for the 2016–17 school year. Table 1 provides the additional details regarding California’s compliance, by ESEA section/subsection.

Table 1. California Plan for Compliance with the ESEA
ESEA Section/Subsection California Compliance
1111(b)(1)(A) requires the state adoption of challenging academic standards and achievement standards. California adopted the California Next Generation Science Standards (CA NGSS) on September 4, 2013. All students in grades five and eight and one grade in high school (i.e., grade ten, eleven, or twelve) will participate in the assessment by taking the California Science Test (CAST) and the California Alternate Assessment for Science (CAA for Science). The CAST items are aligned with the CA NGSS, and the CAA for Science items are aligned with Core Content Connectors that are linked to the CA NGSS. A common set of achievement standards, preliminary indicators, will be used to measure performance.
1111(b)(1)(C) requires the state have academic standards for science, which shall include the same knowledge, skills, and levels of achievement expected of all children. All students in grades five and eight and once in high school (i.e., grade ten, eleven, or twelve) will participate in the assessment by taking the CAST or the CAA for Science. The CAST items are aligned with the CA NGSS, and the CAA for Science items are aligned with Core Content Connectors that are linked to the CA NGSS. A common set of achievement standards, preliminary indicators, will be used to measure performance.
1111(b)(3)(A) requires the state to implement for students yearly academic assessments, including science, that will be used as the primary means of determining the yearly performance of the state, local educational agency (LEA), and school. California will administer the CAST to all students in grades five, eight, and once in high school (i.e., grade ten, eleven, or twelve). California will also administer, to all eligible students with an individualized education program indicating an alternate assessment (i.e. in grades five, eight, and once in high school), the CAA for Science. As part of the plan, California will aggregate student results by the state, LEA, school, and student groups. These results will be available to the public via the CDE California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress Reporting Web site.
1111(b)(3)(C)(ii) requires the state assessments to be aligned with the adopted academic content standards and achievement standards. The CAST are aligned with the CA NGSS, whereas, the CAA for Science are aligned with Core Content Connectors that are linked to the CA NGSS. A common set of achievement standards, preliminary indicators, will be used to measure performance.
1111(b)(3)(C )(v)(II) requires the state to measure the proficiency of all students in science at least once in grades three through five; grades six through eight; and grades ten through twelve. The tests offer a comprehensive suite of universal tools, designated supports, and accommodations. With the assistance of content experts, California will develop preliminary indicators of student attainment of the CA NGSS for the CAST and the CAA for Science. The preliminary indicators will consist of three levels
1111(b)(3)(C)(xii) requires the state to produce individual student interpretive, descriptive, and diagnostic reports by using valid and reliable assessments that are aligned with the state academic standards. These reports allow parents, teachers, and principals to understand and address the specific academic needs of students. Beginning with the 2017–18 science test administrations, California will produce and provide student scores and preliminary indicators to LEAs for communication to parents and educators.

Please direct any questions regarding this letter to me by phone at 916-319-0637 or by e-mail at kashley@cde.ca.gov.

Sincerely,

Keric Ashley, Deputy Superintendent Performance,
Planning, and Technology Branch

KA:cc

Last Reviewed: Tuesday, December 12, 2017
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