Published: Published: January 10th, 2019

ASSESSMENT INFO: Menu of Assessments- Public Comment Notice January 9 through January 24, 2019

Special Education Directors, please see this important Public Comment Notice:


Pursuant to 34 C.F.R. §200.6(c)(4), the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) will seek a waiver for the 2018-2019 school year from the Secretary of the United States Department of Education. The regulation in question, found at Section 1111(b)(2)(H) in Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), relates to a State’s ability to authorize LEAs to administer a locally selected, nationally recognized high school academic assessment in lieu of the statewide high school assessment.        34 CFR 200.3(b)(2)(ii) further requires that before a State may approve a nationally recognized high school academic assessment for use by an LEA, the State must submit evidence to the U.S. Department of Education (the Department) that demonstrates that each locally selected, nationally recognized assessment meets the requirements for peer review under ESEA Section 1111(a)(4).

NOTICE OF PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD: Any individual or organization may submit written comments on the proposed waiver pursuant to 34 C.F.R. §200.6(c)(4). Written comments shall be accepted through January 24, 2019.

 You may submit your comments electronically, using the following link: or directly to Audra Ahumada, Deputy Associate Superintendent of Assessments, Arizona Department of Education, 1535 West Jefferson St. Bin #6, Phoenix, AZ 85007.  Mrs. Ahumada may be reached by telephone at 602-542-5450, by fax at 602-542-5467 or through email at [email protected].

 The requirements for a State Education Agency to seek a waiver are set forth at 34 C.F.R §200.6(c)(4) and reproduced below. ADE has requested a waiver in response to the requirements set forth at 34 C.F.R. §200.6(c)(4) because of its state law to implement the Menu of Assessments for high school beginning school year 2018-2019.

Specifically, Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) § 15-741.02 states:

  1. The state board of education shall adopt a menu of achievement assessments to measure pupil achievement of the state academic standards. Beginning in the 2018-2019 school year, each local education agency that offers instruction in grades nine through twelve may select from that menu an achievement assessment to administer to the pupils in one or more schools in that local education agency instead of the test to measure pupil achievement adopted by the state board of education pursuant to section 15-741….

The Arizona Department of Education (ADE) has formally requested a waiver, pursuant to ESEA Section 8401(b), from the requirement that our State submit evidence demonstrating that the chosen nationally recognized assessments meet the requirement of the Department’s peer review guidance prior to the first administration of the nationally recognized assessment.

ADE has submitted this waiver request to allow for the administration in spring of 2019 of the SAT and ACT.  Which are nationally recognized high school academic assessments, by LEAs that have formally requested the ability to replace the AzMERIT statewide assessment in English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics (Math) with the SAT or ACT and/or the AIMS Science assessment with ACT.  Not only are both SAT and ACT widely used as state assessments across the country, but none of the other states employing them as such have fully satisfied the peer review requirements.

Should this waiver be granted by the Department, ADE will continue the rigorous monitoring of the effectiveness of its statewide assessments and assures ADE will continue to work with both the Arizona State Board of Education (SBE) and representatives of SAT and ACT to ensure the success of the transition to using nationally recognized high school assessments in lieu of the statewide assessment by providing technical assistance and support to LEAs throughout the process and clearly defining to assessment vendors and the SBE what is required with respect to ADE’s assessment data needs so that it can ensure equity across its accountability programs.

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