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Alternate Assessment Waiver
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Public Notice of Texas Request of a Waiver from 1.0 Percent State Cap on the Percentage of Students Who Take an Alternate Assessment

Purpose and Scope of Waiver Request. Texas is requesting a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) regarding the 1.0 percent threshold on the percentage of students statewide who participate in alternate assessments aligned with alternate academic achievement standards (AA-AAAS) during the 2017-2018 school year.

The USDE is allowing states to request a waiver of the 1.0 percent cap in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), §1111(b)(2)(D)(i)(I), on the number of students who participate in alternate assessments aligned with alternate academic achievement standards (AA-AAAS). As described in 34 Code of Federal Regulations §200.6(c)(3), a state may not prohibit a district from assessing more than 1.0 percent of its assessed students with an AA-AAAS. However, a state must require a district that assesses more than 1.0 percent of its assessed students in any subject with an AA-AAAS to submit information to the state justifying the need to exceed the 1.0 percent threshold. States must provide appropriate guidance and oversight of each district that is required to submit such an explanation and must make the explanation publicly available, provided that it does not reveal personally identifiable information about an individual student.

As a result, Texas is seeking a waiver from this requirement pursuant to §8401(b) of the ESEA, as amended by the ESSA. Specifically, Texas is requesting a limited waiver of §1111(b)(2)(D)(i)(I) of the ESEA, as amended by the ESSA, so that the state's assessment system may have slightly more than 1.0 percent of students taking the AA-AAAS during the 2017-2018 school year.

The requested waiver would be effective through the 2017-2018 school year. Texas will verify that each district that assesses more than 1.0 percent of its assessed students using an AA-AAAS followed the state's guidelines for participation in the AA-AAAS and will address any disproportionality in the percentage of students in any subgroup taking an AA-AAAS.

A copy of the waiver request is available on the Texas Education Agency website.

Public Comments. The public comment period on the waiver request begins November 10, 2017, and ends December 11, 2017. Comments on the waiver request may be submitted electronically.

Further Information. For more information, contact Julie Guthrie, director of special assessment projects, in the Division of Student Assessment by mail at 1701 North Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas 78701; by telephone at (512) 463-9536.
Contact TEPSA

501 East 10th Street
Austin, TX 78701
512-478-5268
800-252-3621
Fax: 512-478-1502

 
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