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Subject: NEW Assessment Regulations/2% Modified Achievement Standards
Source: Heidi Atkins Lieberman, Assistant Commissioner

Intended Audience: Directors of Special Education, Special Education Contacts, Stakeholders

Date: April 6, 2007

On Wednesday, April 4, 2007, the U.S. Department of Education announced the release of the "2% regulations" for AYP purposes under NCLB. These regulations allow states to develop modified academic achievement standards for a small group of students with disabilities (up to 2% will be counted for AYP purposes) that are challenging and measure a student's mastery of grade-level content, but are less difficult than grade-level achievement standards. These assessments must cover grade-level content and be aligned with state standards and they will be subject to a peer review process. These alternate assessments are intended for students with disabilities who are capable of achieving high standards (grade-level content) but just not in the same time frame as other students. Modified academic achievement standards are intended to provide a more appropriate measure of these students' knowledge of grade-level content.

A student's IEP Team will determine whether the student will be assessed based on modified academic achievement standards. States must develop guidelines for IEP Teams to ensure they are appropriately identifying students to be assessed under this 2% regulation. IEP goals that are based on grade-level content standards must be included in the IEPs of students who are assessed based on modified academic achievement standards. Please note that this option based on 2% is in addition to the other ways to assess students with disabilities (meaning that there is still the 1% option of an alternate assessment based on alternate academic achievement standards - our MAP-A.

We will provide more information as we receive it. The regulations are quite lengthy and a close review will be conducted by the Department.
Obviously, the Department's Assessment Section will be working hard to understand all the parameters of these new regulations and development of modified assessments will be needed. We will keep you posted. For now, please hold your questions.

For a copy of the regulations and the non-regulatory guidance, go to:  http://www.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2007/04/04042007.html.

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Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Division of Special Education
P.O. Box 480
Jefferson City, MO 65102
Email:  webreplyspe@dese.mo.gov
Phone: 573-751-5739   Fax:  573-526-4404


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