June 29, 2007 – Oregon Assessment Letter

June 29, 2007

The Honorable Susan Castillo
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Oregon Department of Education
255 Capitol Street NE
Public Service Building
Salem, Oregon 97310

Dear Superintendent Castillo:

I am writing regarding our review of Oregon’s standards and assessment system under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). We appreciate the efforts required to prepare for the peer review and hope that the process provides useful feedback that will support Oregon’s efforts to monitor student progress toward challenging standards.

External peer reviewers and Department staff evaluated Oregon’s submission and concluded, based on the evidence received, that it addresses a number of the outstanding concerns regarding Oregon’s assessment system. However, Oregon’s standards and assessment system still does not meet all the statutory and regulatory requirements of section 1111(b)(1) and (3) of the ESEA. I know that my staff has discussed the results of this review with your staff. However, I want to take this opportunity to enumerate the evidence that Oregon must provide in order to have a fully compliant system under ESEA. Specifically, we have concerns with the alternate assessment for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. The complete list of evidence needed to address these concerns is on the last page of this letter.

We know that Oregon will complete work within the next few months that may result in a fully approved standards and assessment system. Therefore, we are not assigning an approval status to Oregon’s system at this time. Because that system is not fully approved, however, we will place a condition on your fiscal year 2007 Title I, Part A grant award.

To ensure that all remaining work occurs in a timely manner, I request that, within two weeks of the date of this letter, you provide my staff with a detailed timeline for how and when Oregon will satisfy the remaining requirements. As part of that timeline, please indicate when you will submit evidence as it becomes available. We will review that evidence and schedule an additional peer review, if necessary.

If Oregon is unable to resolve the remaining issues with its assessment system by the agreed upon timeline, we will take appropriate enforcement actions as outlined in the Department’s May 10, 2007 fact sheet. For your convenience, I am enclosing a copy of that fact sheet, which is also available on the Department’s website (www.ed.govhttps://www2.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/statesystems.html).

Also enclosed with this letter are detailed comments from the peer review team that evaluated Oregon’s assessment materials. I hope you will find the reviewers’ comments and suggestions helpful.

We look forward to working with Oregon to support a high-quality standards and assessment system. If you would like to discuss this further, please do not hesitate to call David Harmon (202-205-3554) or Patrick Rooney (202-205-8831) of my staff.


Kerri L. Briggs, Ph.D.


cc: Governor Ted Kulongoski
Doug Kosty

Summary of Additional Evidence that Oregon Must Submit to Meet ESEA Requirements for the Oregon Standards and Assessment System


  1. Approved, re-established alternate academic achievement standards.
  2. Board items including the reading, mathematics, and science achievement level descriptions and cut scores as approved.


  1. Technical report and standard setting process report for alternate assessment standard setting with descriptions of the selection of judges, methodology employed, and final results.
  2. Reliability and validity of the alternate assessments.


  1. To further establish that grade-level content standards for the alternate assessment (e.g., 6-10) can adequately be assessed with a single test
  2. Alignment/linkages of Oregon’ alternate assessments to the State’s re-established alternate academic achievement standards.

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