Connecticut Assessment Letter

May 22, 2006

The Honorable Betty J. Sternberg
Commissioner of Education
Connecticut State Department of Education
165 Capitol Avenue
Hartford, CT 06145

Dear Commissioner Sternberg:

I am writing to follow up on the letter that I sent you on April 10, 2006 regarding the peer review results of Connecticut’s assessment system. In that letter, I detailed the additional evidence necessary for Connecticut to meet the statutory and regulatory requirements of Section 1111(b)(3) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB).

Based on the recommendations of the peer reviewers and the evidence you have provided to date, the status of Connecticut’s standards and assessment system is Approval Expected. This status indicates that a State has administered an assessment system in grades 3-8 and high school in 2005-06 that the evidence to date suggests is fully compliant with the statutory and regulatory requirements. There are certain elements, however, that cannot be completed by July 1, 2006, due to the nature of assessment development, such as setting academic achievement standards.

Connecticut must provide the Department with the complete evidence needed to satisfy the remaining requirements, as indicated in the enclosure to this letter, before administering its assessments in the 2006-07 school year. I would like to reiterate my earlier request that, as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days of receiving this letter, you provide us a plan, including a detailed timeline, for how Connecticut will meet these remaining requirements. We will schedule a subsequent peer review, if necessary, after you have submitted your additional evidence. Please note that, because there are elements of Connecticut’s system that cannot be completed by July 1, 2006, the Department will place a condition on Connecticut’s fiscal year 2006 Title I, Part A grant award until Connecticut submits the required evidence and receives approval of its assessment system.

The Department remains committed to working with Connecticut to meet the requirements of NCLB and to raising the performance of all children. Toward that end, let me reiterate my earlier offer of technical assistance to you. If you have any additional questions, would like to discuss this further, or want to request technical assistance, please do not hesitate to call Catherine Freeman ( or Valeria Ford ( of my staff.


Henry L. Johnson

cc: Governor M. Jodi Rell
Fran Rabinowitz

Summary of Additional Evidence that Connecticut Must Submit to Meet ESEA Requirements for the Connecticut Assessment System


  1. Analyses and results from an alignment study that confirms the rigorous content in the reading/language arts and science curriculum frameworks.


  1. Board adoption/approval of academic achievement standards for the CMT4 and for the alternate assessment (when complete);
  2. Description of the procedures used to establish achievement standards for all grades and subjects, including the qualifications of panelists;
  3. Descriptors for the regular assessment in grades 3-8 that include well-defined, grade-specific content competencies associated with each achievement level;
  4. Evidence of alignment between academic content standards and academic achievement standards; and
  5. Documentation that individuals representing students with disabilities and English language learners have been included in the committees setting the achievement standards.


  1. Results of content validation studies for all current tests;
  2. Reliability data for all assessments (CMT4, CAPT2 and alternate assessment) for each reported subpopulation, including conditional standard error and student classification accuracy;
  3. Evidence that Connecticut has evaluated the use of the accommodations permitted; and
  4. The completed technical manual for the CMT4 and alternate assessment.


  1. Results of alignment studies, including determinations of whether the assessments align with the standards in terms of comprehensiveness and range, knowledge and process, degree and pattern of emphasis. Connecticut should submit analysis of the data and how the State will use the results to make any revisions to any of the assessments, if needed;
  2. Documentation to show assessments yield scores that reflect the full range of achievement implied by the achievement standards for all assessments; and
  3. Procedures Connecticut plans to use to maintain or improve alignment between all assessments and standards over time.


  1. Information on how Connecticut will address the issues of inclusion for all groups of students; and
  2. Policies or practices to ensure the identification and inclusion of migrant and other mobile students in the assessment system. Connecticut should also provide evidence that these students are included.


  1. Disaggregated report cards that include migrant students;
  2. Documentation that schools are instructed to provide parents with results from their child’s assessments in a timely fashion; and
  3. Sample reports for the new alternate assessments.

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