Monday, August 26, 2013

Breaking: DOE Promulgates Proposed Regs Eliminating 2 % Rule

Seal of the United States Department of Education
Seal of the United States Department of Education (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On  Friday, the U.S. Department of Education proposed regulations under ESEA and IDEA  to transition away from the so-called "2 percent rule," in order to hold all students to high standards that better prepare them for college and career. Under the existing regulations, States had previously been allowed to develop alternate assessments aligned to modified academic achievement standards (AA-MAAS) for some students with disabilities and use the results of those assessments for accountability purposes under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

Under the proposed regulations, a State already administering alternate assessments based on modified academic achievement standards could no longer administer such assessments after the 2013–14 school year.

The press release may be read here.

You can review the text of the proposed regulation (technically "Notice of Proposed Rulemaking" or  "NPRM") here.  The regulation does not take effect until after a period of public comment.  You can and should send your comments to the proposed regulation to DOE. Comments must be received by October 7, 2013. By far the best way is through the federal portal at:  

What are your thoughts about the proposed regulation?

Enhanced by Zemanta


  1. Many of my students have multiple, severe disabilities. They fit into that tiny percentage of students who require highly specialized education plans that are not likely to include goals of attending college or having a traditional job (note that I said "traditional job"). If I'm understanding the new proposed regulation, it would require that these students be assessed using the standards for general education students without disabilities. Am I missing something?

  2. Arne Duncan says, "We have to expect the very best from our students and tell the truth about student performance.”

    Yes, let us tell the truth! In Lake Wobegon, all children are above average; everywhere else, all children are spread out under a bell curve. A child with an IQ of 45 will never ever achieve academically at the same level as a child with an IQ of 145. Or 100. Or 80. No amount of wishful thinking or political posturing will alter that reality. No data indicates that student achievement is improving through the various iterations of standards-based school reform over the past two decades. Despite the familiar rhetoric, no scientific research has ever demonstrated that establishing a single set of regular education standards for all students, regardless of ability, and then repeatedly testing against those standards can improve academic achievement on average or close any achievement gaps.

    The one-set-of-standards-fits-all approach is especially cruel treatment of students with moderate-severe disabilities for whom “college and career-ready standards” are inappropriate, who instead need education focused on their specific individual skills, abilities, and potential so they might have some hope of living satisfying and productive lives.

    I think what we are all missing is a truth that Arne Duncan did not mention: The standards-assessment dyad that has dominated federal policy initiatives for more than a decade has yielded a windfall for the for-profit educational assessment and charter school industries. Vast amounts of public education money are now flowing into corporate hands with little discernible benefit to students with or without disabilities. Let’s scrutinize that a little more closely!

  3. MjM & Mary Anne,

    Thanks you for your comments.

    This could get interesting...

    Everybody who has an opinion about this should file comments to the proposed regs with DOE.


  4. What utter nonsense. It's like judging everybody by how fast they can run 100 yards; even the ones with no legs.

    Alternative assessments (and standards) do not prevent achievement, they make it possible. For example, the new Common Core standards require students to explain their reasoning why 2+2=4. Fine. MY STUDENTS CAN'T SPEAK OR WRITE! Not because they haven't learned to yet, but because of different brain structure.

    Give all children achievable goals and the support they need to reach them.


    Van Boudreaux
    Special Educator - Autism