The U.S. Department of Education has proposed an amendment to the Title I regulations of the No Child Left Behind Act to stop states from administering alternative assessments based upon modified academic achievement standards. Currently, Title 1 of the No Child Left Behind Act allows states to define modified academic achievement standards for eligible students with disabilities as long as the modified standards are aligned with the student's actual grade. States are allowed to count as "proficient" up to two percent of the students' scores using the modified assessments even though these students may not meet the proficiency standards used for the general education students. Under the proposed changes, section 200.1(e) would be amended to limit the state's ability to create alternative academic testing based upon modified academic standards (with some exceptions) and eliminate the "2 Percent Rule".
The reasoning behind this proposed amendment is that the existing modified assessments based upon modified academic standard do not provide sufficient insight with respect to how students with disabilities are progressing in terms of the general academic standards. The proposed amendment is based upon the concept that states need to hold all students, include those with disabilities, to high standards and that instead of using modified assessments and standards, states should instead use general assessments that are more accessible to students with disabilities.
To learn more or to comment on this proposed change, please review the "Notice of Proposed Rulemaking" by the U.S. Department of Education (proposed on August 23, 2013).