34 CFR 200.1 - State responsibilities for developing challenging academic standards.
(a)Academic standards in general. A State must develop challenging academic content and student academic achievement standards that will be used by the State, its local educational agencies (LEAs), and its schools to carry out subpart A of this part. These academic standards must -
(1) Be the same academic content and academic achievement standards that the State applies to all public schools and public school students in the State, including the public schools and public school students served under subpart A of this part, except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section, which applies only to the State's academic achievement standards;
(2) Include the same knowledge and skills expected of all students and the same levels of achievement expected of all students, except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section; and
(3) Include at least mathematics, reading/language arts, and, beginning in the 2005-2006 school year, science, and may include other subjects determined by the State.
(b)Academic content standards.
(1) The challenging academic content standards required under paragraph (a) of this section must -
(i) Specify what all students are expected to know and be able to do;
(ii) Contain coherent and rigorous content; and
(iii) Encourage the teaching of advanced skills.
(2) A State's academic content standards may -
(i) Be grade specific; or,
(ii) Cover more than one grade if grade-level content expectations are provided for each of grades 3 through 8.
(3) At the high school level, the academic content standards must define the knowledge and skills that all high school students are expected to know and be able to do in at least reading/language arts, mathematics, and, beginning in the 2005-06 school year, science, irrespective of course titles or years completed.
(c)Academic achievement standards.
(i) Be aligned with the State's academic content standards; and
(ii) Include the following components for each content area:
(A) Achievement levels that describe at least -
(1) Two levels of high achievement - proficient and advanced - that determine how well students are mastering the material in the State's academic content standards; and
(2) A third level of achievement - basic - to provide complete information about the progress of lower-achieving students toward mastering the proficient and advanced levels of achievement.
(B) Descriptions of the competencies associated with each achievement level.
(C) Assessment scores (“cut scores”) that differentiate among the achievement levels as specified in paragraph (c)(1)(ii)(A) of this section, and a description of the rationale and procedures used to determine each achievement level.
(2) A State must develop academic achievement standards for every grade and subject assessed, even if the State's academic content standards cover more than one grade.
(3) With respect to academic achievement standards in science, a State must develop -
(i) Achievement levels and descriptions no later than the 2005-06 school year; and
(ii) Assessment scores (“cut scores”) after the State has developed its science assessments but no later than the 2007-08 school year.
(d)Alternate academic achievement standards. For students under section 602(3) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act with the most significant cognitive disabilities who take an alternate assessment, a State may, through a documented and validated standards-setting process, define alternate academic achievement standards, provided those standards -
(1) Are aligned with the State's academic content standards;
(2) Promote access to the general curriculum; and
(3) Reflect professional judgment of the highest achievement standards possible.
(e)Modified academic achievement standards. A State may not define modified academic achievement standards for any students with disabilities under section 602(3) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
(1) Establish and monitor implementation of clear and appropriate guidelines for IEP teams to apply in determining students with the most significant cognitive disabilities who will be assessed based on alternate academic achievement standards.
(2) Inform IEP teams that students eligible to be assessed based on alternate academic achievement standards may be from any of the disability categories listed in the IDEA.
(3) Provide to IEP teams a clear explanation of the differences between assessments based on grade-level academic achievement standards and those based on alternate academic achievement standards, including any effects of State and local policies on the student's education resulting from taking an alternate assessment based on alternate academic achievement standards (such as whether only satisfactory performance on a regular assessment would qualify a student for a regular high school diploma).
(4) Ensure that parents of students selected to be assessed based on alternate academic achievement standards under the State's guidelines in this paragraph are informed that their child's achievement will be measured based on alternate academic achievement standards.
(g)Subjects without standards. If an LEA serves students under subpart A of this part in subjects for which a State has not developed academic standards, the State must describe in its State plan a strategy for ensuring that those students are taught the same knowledge and skills and held to the same expectations in those subjects as are all other students.
(h)Other subjects with standards. If a State has developed standards in other subjects for all students, the State must apply those standards to students participating under subpart A of this part.