The U.S. Department of Education (ED) has released proposed regulations [PDF] that would eliminate the 2% rule related to alternate assessments based on modified academic achievement standards. States would no longer be authorized to define modified academic achievement standards for certain students with disabilities, develop and administer alternate assessments based on those standards, and—subject to limitations on the number of proficient scores that may be counted for adequate yearly progress (AYP) purposes—use the scores from those alternate assessments in AYP.
These proposed amendments would also permit—as a transitional measure and for a limited period of time—states that administered alternate assessments based on modified academic achievement standards in the 2012–2013 school year to continue to administer those assessments and include the results in AYP calculations.
The proposed regulations amend the Title I regulations of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended, that are designed to help disadvantaged children meet high academic standards. ASHA is reviewing the proposed regulations and will submit comments to ED.
In April 2007, ED amended Title I regulations to permit states to (1) define modified academic achievement standards for certain students with disabilities-specifically those whose disabilities precluded them from achieving grade-level proficiency and whose progress is such that they will not reach grade-level proficiency in the same time frame as other students; and (2) develop alternate assessments based on those modified academic achievement standards and administer them to eligible students. These regulations are also known as "the 2% rule."
ED's proposed regulations anticipate that alternate assessments based on modified academic achievement standards will no longer be needed. As states develop more accessible general assessments, which can also be used for students with disabilities for whom alternate assessments based on modified academic achievement standards are currently being administered. Accordingly, ED believes that states would be able to refocus their assessment efforts and resources on the development of more accessible general assessments.
For more information, please see the Federal Register notice [PDF] or contact Catherine D. Clarke, ASHA's director of education and regulatory advocacy, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-498-2071, ext. 5611.