Louisiana Assessment Letter

June 29, 2006

The Honorable Cecil J. Picard
Superintendent of Education
Louisiana Department of Education
PO Box 94064
1201 North 3rd Street, 5th Floor
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70804-9064

Dear Superintendent Picard:

Thank you for submitting Louisiana’s assessment materials for review under the standards and assessment requirements of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965(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 Louisiana’s efforts to monitor student progress toward challenging standards.

External peer reviewers and U.S. Department of Education (ED) staff evaluated Louisiana’s submission. Based on the recommendations of the peer reviewers and the evidence you have provided to date, the status of Louisiana’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 the provision of technical manuals for the Integrated Louisiana Educational Assessment Program (iLEAP) and the Louisiana Alternate Assessment, Level 1 (LAA1).

Please note that the peers reviewed the Louisiana Alternate Assessment, Level 2 (LAA2), a custom-developed assessment for students with persistent academic disabilities. However, we cannot yet approve the LAA2 because we have not issued final regulations setting out the authority and requirements for developing modified achievement standards and aligned assessments for certain students with disabilities. Once the Department has issued final regulations, Louisiana may submit the LAA2 for peer review.

Louisiana must provide the Department with the complete evidence needed to satisfy the few remaining requirements, as indicated in the enclosure to this letter, before administering its assessments in the 2006–07 school year. Louisiana should provide, as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days from receipt of this letter, a plan, including a detailed timeline, for how Louisiana 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 Louisiana’s system that cannot be completed by July 1, 2006, the Department will place a condition on Louisiana’s fiscal year 2006 Title I, Part A grant award until Louisiana has submitted the required evidence and receives approval of its standards and assessment system.

The Department remains committed to working with Louisiana to meet the requirements of NCLB and to raising the performance of all children. If you have any additional questions, would like to request reconsideration of the conditions, or want to request technical assistance, please do not hesitate to call Patrick Rooney (202-205-8831) or Grace Ross (202-260-0967) of my staff.


Henry L. Johnson


cc: Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco
Robin Jarvis

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


  1. Documentation showing that the academic achievement standards for the Integrated Louisiana Educational Assessment Program (iLEAP) were approved in English/language arts and math in grades 3, 5, 6, and 7.
  2. Documentation showing that labels, descriptors, and cut scores have been finalized and approved for the alternate achievement standards for the Louisiana Alternate Assessment, Level 1 (LAA1) in grades 3-8 and 10 in English/language arts and mathematics.
  3. Documentation of diverse stakeholder participation in the panels that developed the academic achievement standards in English/language arts and math for the iLEAP, LAA1, and Graduation Exit Examination (GEE).
  4. Documentation showing the number and percentage of students with disabilities assessed against alternate achievement standards (with the LAA1), against modified achievement standards (with the LAA2), on the general assessment (the Louisiana Educational Assessment Program (LEAP) and the iLEAP) with accommodations, and on the general assessment without accommodations for the spring 2006 administration.
  5. Documentation that academic achievement standards and descriptors have been developed and approved for the alternate academic achievement standards for science.


  1. Documentation of the standard-setting process and the results for the iLEAP and LAA1.
  2. Complete technical manuals for the iLEAP and LAA1 that document the validity and reliability of the assessments, conditional standard errors at each cut score, and generalizability for all relevant sources.
  3. Documentation that the scoring and reporting structures for the iLEAP are consistent with the sub-domain structures of the State academic content standards.


  1. Documentation of the revised and final scoring protocols for the LAA1 and the results of the alignment and/or linking study of LAA1 to the content standards.
  2. Documentation of how the results of the alignment studies will be used to improve the alignment of the LEAP, iLEAP and GEE.


  1. Participation data, policies, and implementation practices for reporting the achievement of migrant students.
  2. Participation data from the administration of the 2005-06 assessments in grades 3-8 and high school in each content area and grade assessed.


  1. Documentation showing disaggregated data for migrant students on the report cards.
  2. Documentation showing that student assessment participation rates are reported at the district and school levels.
  3. Documentation of school and LEA reports for the iLEAP, LEAP, GEE, LAA1, and LAA2 for the 2005-06 administration.
  4. Documentation on monitoring of how districts distribute reports to schools and schools distribute reports to parents in a timely fashion.
  5. Sample individual student report for the LAA1 for the 2006 administration.

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