Montana Assessment Letter

March 2, 2007

The Honorable Linda McCulloch
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Montana Office of Public Instruction
1227 11th Avenue
Helena, Montana 59620-2501

Dear Superintendent McCulloch:

Thank you for submitting additional assessment materials for peer 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 latest peer review that occurred in December 2006.

Based on the recommendations of the peer reviewers and the evidence you have provided to date, the status of Montana’s standards and assessment system is Approval Expected. This status indicates that a State will administer an assessment system in grades 3-8 and high school in 2006-07 that the evidence to date suggests is fully compliant with the statutory and regulatory requirements. There are certain elements, however, that are not yet complete due to the nature of assessment development.

Montana must provide the Department with a timeline for completing the evidence needed to satisfy the remaining requirements, as indicated in the enclosure to this letter. Please note that, because there are elements of Montana’s system that are not yet complete, a condition on Montana’s Title I, Part A grant award will continue until Montana submits the required evidence and receives full approval of its standards and assessment system.

The Department remains committed to working with Montana 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 Zollie Stevenson ( or Patrick Rooney ( of my staff.


Raymond Simon
Deputy Secretary


cc: Governor Brian Schweitzer
Nancy Coopersmith
Judy Snow

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


  1. Evidence of the development and approval of alternate achievement descriptors in science for the alternate assessment.


  1. Evidence that Montana has evaluated the inter-rater agreement for constructed-response items on the CRT-Alt. and that the reliability information demonstrates a high level of consistency in scoring.

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