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INFORMATIONAL LETTER NO. 86
TO: Superintendents of Schools
FROM: Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner
DATE: February 26, 2004
RE: MEA Testing and Limited English Proficient (LEP) Students
On February 20, 2004, U.S Department of Education Secretary Rodney Paige announced new federal policies regarding testing and calculating annual yearly progress (AYP) for LEP students, new to U.S. schools this year, under the No Child Left Behind Act. To align state and federal policy on this matter, the MEA program will follow this directive. For Maine schools, the following considerations should occur:
Ø LEP students, during their 1st year of enrollment in U.S. schools, must be assessed for English proficiency. The Language Assessment Scales or Idea Proficiency Test can serve this purpose. Participation in either of these assessments counts as participation in reading for purposes of the 95% participation requirement of AYP. First-year LEP students may participate in the reading section of the MEA, but their results do not count for AYP performance. For purposes of state assessment, participation in English proficiency testing can count as participation in the reading, writing and science & technology sections of the MEA. First-year LEP students can, of course, choose to participate in any section of the MEA.
Ø First-year LEP students are still required to participate in the mathematics portion of the MEA through standard administration, accommodations, or the PAAP process. Their scores will count for participation-not performance.
Ø For AYP calculations, schools are allowed up to two years to include former LEP students (those in “monitor” status) as LEP, though they may have attained English proficiency. This is an option, not a requirement, but it should be done uniformly, in accordance with school policy.
Ø Schools must use the attached form to submit the names and grades of 1st year LEP students not participating in the MEA areas of reading, writing, or science & technology to Horace “Brud” Maxcy, MEA Coordinator at the Department of Education, 23 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0023, FAX 207-624-6771.
You may access the full text of Secretary Paige’s policy announcement at <http://www.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2004/02/02192004.html>
*The end of the “first-year” is the first anniversary date of the LEP student’s first enrollment in a United States school.