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INFORMATIONAL LETTER NO.: 110
POLICY CODE: ILBB/IHBEA
TO: Superintendents of Schools, Principals, LEP Coordinators, and Guidance Counselors
FROM: Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner
DATE: March 6, 2006
RE: MEA Testing and Limited English Proficient (LEP) Students
On February 20, 2004, U.S Department of Education Secretary Rodney Paige announced federal policies regarding testing and calculating annual yearly progress (AYP) for LEP students, new to U.S. schools, 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:
During the first 10 months following their arrival in the U.S., LEP students must be assessed for English proficiency using the WIDA ACCESS. Participation in this assessment counts as participation in reading for purposes of the 95% participation requirement of AYP. Only those students who have been in the U. S. 10 months or less are considered first year LEP students and are eligible for this flexibility. These 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.
First-year LEP students are still required to participate in the mathematics portion of the MEA through standard administration, accommodations, or the PAAP process. Students would be counted as participants for AYP purposes for the 95% testing requirement, which ensures accountability for all children.
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.
School personnel should ensure that all LEP students have been entered into MEDMS. Contact your district MEDMS administrator for information related to MEDMS coding.
You may access the full text of Secretary Paige’s policy announcement at http://www.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2004/02/02192004.html