Massachusetts Assessment Letter

October 19, 2006

The Honorable David P. Driscoll
Commissioner of Education
Massachusetts Department of Education
350 Main Street
Malden, Massachusetts 02148-5023

Dear Commissioner Driscoll:

Thank you for submitting additional evidence regarding Massachusetts’ standards-setting process for peer review under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB).

We submitted Massachusetts’ additional evidence to external peer reviewers. Based on their recommendations, we have determined that Massachusetts’ standards-setting process meets the requirements of section 1111(b)(1) of the ESEA. We look forward to receiving evidence of Board approval as soon as they are available.

Because a few outstanding items remain due to the nature of assessment development, the status of Massachusetts’ standards and assessment system remains Approval Expected. Massachusetts must provide the Department with the 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. We will schedule a subsequent peer review after you have submitted your additional evidence. Please note that, because there are elements of Massachusetts’ system that have not yet been completed, the condition on Massachusetts’ fiscal year 2006 Title I, Part A grant award will continue until Massachusetts has submitted the required evidence and received full approval of its standards and assessment system.

The Department remains committed to working with Massachusetts to meet the requirements of NCLB and to raising the performance of all children. If you have any additional questions, would like to discuss this further, or want to request technical assistance, please do not hesitate to call Sue Rigney (202-260-0931) or Patrick Rooney (202-205-8831) of my staff.


Henry L. Johnson


cc: Governor Mitt Romney
Barbara Solomon

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


  1. Evidence of Board approval of the academic achievement standards.


  1. Technical documentation for the new assessments introduced in spring 2006, including confirmation of alignment of the new assessments with State content standards.
  2. Evidence of technical quality for the alternate assessment.

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