COPAA Applauds USDOE for Denying NY Waiver That Would Permit Out of Level Testing
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Posted by: Denise Marshall
COPAA, with The Center for Law and Education, The Advocacy Institute, and others sent a letter thanking the US Department of Education for it’s cogent response rejecting the New York State Education Department (NYSED) request for a waiver that would have allowed certain students with disabilities, who are not eligible to participate on the state’s alternate assessment, to be tested in a manner contrary to current law and differently from other struggling learners without disabilities.
COPAA, along with our colleagues, shared with the Department our concerns that NYSED’s request to assess these students with disabilities based on their current “instructional level,” rather than their chronological age/appropriate grade level, would violate these students’ rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and their civil rights under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. We concur with the Department’s conclusion, clearly articulated in its June 5, 2015 letter to NYSED, stating that it is essential that the students in question be tested on grade level content so as to “ensure that teachers and parents of all students, including ELs and students with disabilities, have information on their students’ proficiency and progress in reading/language arts and mathematics.” We applaud your leadership and the clear voice with which the members of your staff spoke in uniformly rejecting the inappropriate and unjustified use of out‐of‐level testing.
The letter from USED to NYSED regarding denial of approval for certain amendments is available on the NYSED page at: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/accountability/ESEAFlexibilityWaiver.html