34 CFR § 200.1 - State responsibilities for developing challenging academic standards.
(a) Academic standards in general. A State must adopt challenging academic content standards and aligned academic achievement standards that will be used by the State, its local educational agencies (LEAs), and its schools to carry out this subpart. These academic standards must -
(1) Be the same academic content standards and aligned 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 this subpart, except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section, which applies only to the State's academic achievement standards;
(2) With respect to the academic achievement standards, include the same knowledge, skills, and levels of achievement expected of all public school students in the State, except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section; and
(3) Include at least mathematics, reading/language arts, and 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 science, irrespective of course titles or years completed.
(c) Academic achievement standards.
(1) The challenging academic achievement standards required under paragraph (a) of this section must -
(i) Be aligned with the State's challenging academic content standards and with entrance requirements for credit-bearing coursework in the system of public higher education in the State and relevant State career and technical education standards; and
(ii) Include the following components for each content area:
(A) Not less than three 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.
(d) Alternate academic achievement standards. For students under section 602(3) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 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 challenging academic content standards;
(2) Promote access to the general curriculum, consistent with the IDEA;
(3) Reflect professional judgment as to the highest possible standards achievable by such students;
(4) Are designated in the individualized education program developed under section 614(d)(3) of the IDEA for each such student as the academic achievement standards that will be used for the student; and
(5) Are aligned to ensure that a student who meets the alternate academic achievement standards is on track to pursue postsecondary education or employment, consistent with the purposes of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, as in effect on July 22, 2014, and § 200.2(b)(3)(ii)(B)(2).
(e) Modified academic achievement standards. A State may not define or implement for use under this subpart any alternate or modified academic achievement standards for children with disabilities under section 602(3) of the IDEA that are not alternate academic achievement standards that meet the requirements of paragraph (d) of this section.
(f) English language proficiency standards. A State must adopt English language proficiency standards that -
(1) Are derived from the four recognized domains of speaking, listening, reading, and writing;
(2) Address the different proficiency levels of English learners; and
(3) Are aligned with the State's challenging academic content standards and aligned 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.
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