Last June, Delaware Senator Nicole Poore sponsored Senate Bill 229, which allowed for the most disabled of students to take an alternate assessment as opposed to the Smarter Balanced Assessment. In the past, these students took what was called the DCAS-Alt, but a new “portfolio” test was supposed to start this academic year. That is not going to happen.
Due to some issues with the wording in the new regulation, Senator Poore went to the Governor’s Advisory Council for Exceptional Citizens and the State Council for Persons with Disabilities and put forth new parts to the regulation which had been approved by the Delaware State Board of Education at their December meeting.
Because of the changes in the regulation, it has to go up for a 60 day comment period. The updated regulation was published on February 1st, giving the comment period until April 1st. The earliest the State Board of Education will be able to approve the new regulation would be at their April 16th board meeting.
What this means is any new alternate test won’t go through this year. These students will still have the DCAS-Alt, but some students with extreme communications issues will have a shortened version.