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The Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) Office of Assessment is seeking comments on the following waiver request. DDOE will request a waiver from the United States Department of Education for the 2021-2022 school year, pursuant to the regulation found at 34 C.F.R. §200.6(c)(4) requiring State Education Agencies (SEAs) to limit the number of students participating in state alternate assessment in a required subject area to be at or below one percent of the total number of all students taking the state level assessment.

34 C.F.R. §200.6(c)(2) states:

For each subject for which assessments are administered under §200.2(a)(1), the total number of students assessed in that subject using an alternate assessment with alternate academic achievement standards under paragraph (c)(1) of this section may not exceed 1.0 percent of the total number of students in the State who are assessed in that subject.

State Education Agencies requesting a waiver are required to adhere to the requirements stipulated at 34 C.F.R. §200.6(c)(4) and may be found below. Recent data on the numbers of students participating in the alternate assessments shows alternate participation in spring 2021 to be at 1.35% for ELA, 1.43% for mathematics, and 1.64% for science. DDOE is requesting a waiver for the anticipated greater than one percent alternate assessment participation in accordance with waiver requirements below.

If a State anticipates that it will exceed the cap under paragraph (c)(2) of this section with respect to any subject for which assessments are administered under §200.2(a)(1) in any school year, the State may request that the Secretary waive the cap for the relevant subject, pursuant to section 8401 of the Act, for one year. Such request must—(i) Be submitted at least 90 days prior to the start of the State’s testing window for the relevant subject;

Pursuant to the stated federal requirements, DDOE will submit a one-year waiver request, along with a plan and timeline intended to begin to address the reduction of percentages exceeding the one percent cap of alternate assessment participation. The following information, as detailed in 34 C.F.R. §200.6(c)(4), will be included in the waiver:

  • Delaware state-level data including
    • subgroup counts and percentages
    • participation rates in alternate assessments
  • State assurances that LEAs exceeding the one percent cap followed State guidelines in determining eligibility for participation in alternate assessments
  • A statewide plan and timeline including
    • Clarification of State guidelines, in conjunction with professional development, to expand understanding and implementation of the guidelines and the identification process
    • Support and oversight for LEAs exceeding the one percent cap, as well as addressing any identified areas of disproportionality


Prior to the submission of this waiver request to exceed one percent alternate assessment participation, the DDOE is providing notification and requesting public comment. Comments on this proposed Delaware waiver pursuant to 34 C.F.R. §200.6(c)(4) may be submitted in writing from March 29, 2022 through April 29, 2022 to Michelle Jackson, Delaware Department of Education, Office of Assessment, 401 Federal Street, Suite 2, Dover DE 19901 or through email at

Notification of this waiver request submission is being posted publicly on the DDOE OoA website. Additionally, this information will be disseminated to LEA superintendents, district and charter leadership and coordinators, special education leadership, parent advisory and stakeholder groups, as well as educators. Comments received will be attached to the waiver request submission being sent to the US Department of Education.

Update March 14, 2022: DDOE received feedback from USED on its draft accountability addendum for SY21-22, and as a result, the following edits have been made to meet federal accountability requirements:

  • Added language to assure that Delaware will report all accountability data for any school that meets the minimum n-size of 15 for any measure
  • Swapped our responses for 2D and 2E (pages 9 and 10 of the addendum)
  • Added language to assure that CSI schools will not exit if they are performing worse in SY24 than they were when originally identified, and
  • Removed all references to using local assessment data as part of a school’s exit criteria as local assessments are not statewide and therefore do not meet federal exit criteria requirements.

All changes may be found in the tracked changes addendum document posted on this page. DDOE has reopened the public comment period until the close of business on March 21, 2022. All public comment should be sent via email to

Tracked Addendum

This post serves as notice of the Delaware Department of Education’s (DDOE) intent to submit to the U.S. Department of Education (USED) an accountability addendum to request flexibility from certain aspects and requirements of the federal accountability system for the 2021-2022 school year.

In March 2020, USED granted DDOE a waiver from annual assessment and accountability requirements for school year 2019–2020 under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), due to the unprecedented impact of COVID-19. In February 2021, USED provided state education agencies with the option to submit an accountability waiver in lieu of the addendum. Delaware’s waiver request was approved by USED on April 6, 2021. Given the ongoing impact of pandemic-related data limitations on states’ accountability systems, USED has provided an opportunity to submit an addendum to states’ ESSA plans for the 2021- 2022 school year only. These modifications are part of the accountability and school identification requirements under section 1111 of the ESEA and impact accountability determinations and the identification of schools in fall 2022.

In summary, Delaware’s proposed modifications for the 2021-2022 school year include:

  • Extend the state’s ESSA long-term goals for academic achievement by 2 years
  • Suspend public reporting school ratings
  • Suspend school-level growth calculations
  • Move proficiency in science and social studies with their respective points from the School Quality/Student Success (SQSS) indicator to the Academic Progress Indicator (Other Academic Indicator in federal terms) for SY21-22
  • Extend the timeline for current Comprehensive School Improvement (CSI) and Targeted School Improvement (TSI-1) schools (year 4 of implementation SY23-24)
  • Revise exit criteria for currently identified schools (move away from an overall Delaware School Success Framework (DSSF) score – allow for more local measures to be included)
  • Expedite timeline for exit for fall 2022 cohort of CSI and TSI schools to 2 years (exit fall 2024 – aligns with proposed exit of current cohort)
  • Revise exit criteria for fall 2022 cohort of identified schools from meeting an overall index score (based on SY21-22) to allow for more local measures to be included

DDOE Accountability Addendum February 2022 – DRAFT

Comment Period 

All comments on the proposed accountability addendum are due by Monday, March 7, 2022, by electronic mail addressed to

DDOE welcomes public comment regarding its proposed regulations. Proposed DDOE regulations are posted in Delaware’s Register of Regulations before being added to the Delaware Administrative Code. DDOE accepts public comment for a minimum of 30 days after the proposal is published in the Register of Regulations. DDOE reviews public comment as it determines if a regulation should be adopted, amended or repealed.

  • Review current DDOE regulations
  • Provide public comment by the close of business on or before the date noted in the proposed regulation via
    • email, or
    • mail: Delaware Department of Education, Office of the Secretary, Attn: Regulation Review, 401 Federal Street, Suite 2, Dover, Delaware 19901
  • Review received public comment

Federal accountability waiver approved April 6

On February 22, 2021, USED provided state education agencies with the option to submit an accountability waiver in lieu of the addendum. The newly released accountability waiver includes all aspects included in Delaware’s original addendum request, which was informed by extensive stakeholder feedback and public comment, but also adds a one-year waiver from identifying schools for Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI) and a waiver from including participation rates below 95% in proficiency calculations.