State responsibilities for developing challenging academic standards.
(a) Academic standards in general. A State must develop challenging academic content and student academic achievement standards that will be used by the State, its local educational agencies (LEAs), and its schools to carry out subpart A of this part. These academic standards must-
(1) Be the same academic 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 subpart A of this part, except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section;
(2) Include the same knowledge, skills, and levels of achievement expected of all students; and
(3) Include at least mathematics, reading/language arts, and, beginning in the 2005-2006 school year, 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, beginning in the 2005-06 school year, science, irrespective of course titles or years completed. (c) Academic achievement standards. (1) The challenging student academic achievement standards required under paragraph (a) of this section must-
(i) Be aligned with the State's academic content standards; and
(ii) Include the following components for each content area: (A) 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.
(3) With respect to academic achievement standards in science, a State must develop-
(i) Achievement levels and descriptions no later than the 2005-06 school year; and
(ii) Assessment scores ("cut scores") after the State has developed its science assessments but no later than the 2007-08 school year.
(d) Alternate academic achievement standards. For students under section 602(3) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 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 academic content standards; (2) Promote access to the general curriculum; and
(3) Reflect professional judgment of the highest achievement standards possible.
(e) 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.
(f) 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.
(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 6311(b)(1)) (Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1810-0576)
[67 FR 45039, July 5, 2002, as amended at 68 FR 68702, Dec. 9, 2003]