April 2003 

To:   District Superintendents
Superintendents of Public and Nonpublic Schools
New York City Department of Education
Superintendents of State-operated Schools
Superintendents of Special Act School Districts
Principals of Public and Nonpublic Schools
Directors of Special Education 
Chairpersons of Committees on Special Education
SETRC Professional Development Specialists
Commissionerís Advisory Panel on Special Education
From:   Lawrence C. Gloeckler
Deputy Commissioner, Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities 
James A. Kadamus
Deputy Commissioner, Elementary, Middle, Secondary and Continuing Education 
Subject:  Extension of the Locally Selected Assessment Option to 2003-04

The availability of the locally selected assessment option in lieu of State assessments (elementary 4th and 5th grade, intermediate 8th grade and commencement assessments) for certain students with disabilities has been extended to the 2003-04 school year.

The identified group of students who may qualify for locally selected assessments in lieu of the State assessments are those students who, due to a performance gap resulting from the studentsí unique disability needs, are unable to meet the grade/age level expectations to take the regular State assessments and who do not meet the eligibility criteria for the State Alternate Assessment for Students with Severe Disabilities (NYSAA). The administration of locally selected assessments to this group of students will ensure that objective and appropriate measures of studentsí progress toward the New York State learning standards are available for all students. Results of such assessments will provide important information to direct instruction to these students and to provide a measure of accountability for schools.

Prior guidelines for Committees on Special Education (CSEs) on the participation of students with disabilities in locally selected assessments were issued in March 2002: Supplemental Guidelines for Participation of Students with Disabilities in State Assessments: Locally Selected AssessmentsPlease refer to this memorandum for information on: 

  1. participation criteria for determining which students with disabilities participate in a locally selected assessment in lieu of a State assessment or the New York State Alternate Assessment;
  2. how to choose a locally selected assessment;
  3. the role of the CSE in recommending students with disabilities to participate in a locally selected assessment;
  4. when students must participate in a locally selected assessment; and
  5. reporting requirements for students who participate in a locally selected assessment.

If you have questions regarding this information, please contact the Office of State Assessment at (518) 474-5099 or the Special Education Policy Unit at (518) 473-2878. Questions may also be directed to your Regional Associate at one of the following Special Education Quality Assurance Regional Offices:

Eastern Regional Office

(518) 486-6366

Hudson Valley Regional Office

(914) 245-0010

Central New York Regional Office

(315) 428-3287

Long Island Regional Office

(631) 884-8530

New York City Regional Office

(718) 722-4544

Western Regional Office

(585) 344-2112, ext. 420