KDE Seeks Public Comment on Proposed Alternative Assessment Participation Waiver – Kentucky Teacher


The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) is seeking public comment on a request to the U.S. Department of Education (USED) to extend the waiver related to the number of students participating in standards-aligned alternative assessment Alternative Academic Achievement (AA-AAAS) .

The AA-AAAS is aligned with the other academic achievement standards of Kentucky’s annual statewide summative assessment, formerly known as the Kentucky Performance Rating for Educational Progress (K-PREP) test.

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) – as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Section 1111(b)(2)(D) and its corresponding regulation 34 CFR 200.6(c) and (d) – contains requirements for students with the most significant cognitive impairments to participate in statewide testing through the use of AA-AAAS.

By federal law, no more than 1.0 percent of the total number of students participating in a statewide assessment such as the Kentucky summative assessment may take the alternate assessment in each subject tested.

Eligibility data from the 2021-2022 school year shows that just over 1% of Kentucky students were eligible to participate in AA-AAAS. Under 34 CFR §200.6(c)(4), if a state anticipates that it will exceed the cap for any subject for which assessments are administered during a school year, the state may request the U.S. Secretary to education to waive the ceiling for the subject concerned. subject for a year. KDE plans to submit a request to extend the exemption to USED in reading, mathematics and science.

To benefit from an extended waiver, KDE must:

  • Collect data on the characteristics of students participating in AA-AAAS;
  • Determine if only students with significant cognitive impairment participate;
  • Monitor alternative assessment data and request justification from all districts exceeding 1% participation in any topic; and
  • Correct any disproportion in the percentage of students passing the alternative assessment.

As noted in Kentucky’s 1.0% Reading, Math, and Science Waiver Extension Application 2021-2022, KDE’s Office of Special Education and Early Learning, regional cooperatives of Special education and school districts have worked collaboratively to develop and implement guidance, training, and aftercare to ensure that only students with the most significant cognitive impairments participate in AA-AAAS. The proposed waiver details progress made in 2021-22 and plans for the 2022-23 school year.

The proposed waiver can be found on KDE’s Alternate Participation Waiver web page. General information about the Kentucky AA-AAAS can be found on the KDE Kentucky Alternative Summative Assessment webpage.

The public comment period will run from August 1 to 12. The public can send written comments on the proposed waiver to Carol Morrison, Director, IDEA Monitoring and Outcomes Division, Office of Special Education and Early Learning, Kentucky Department of Education, 300 Sower Blvd., Fourth Floor, Frankfort, KY 40601. Comments may also be submitted by email to [email protected], by phone at (502) 564-4970, or by fax at (502) 564-4124 .


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