June 24, 2011
Dear Chief State School Officer:
Educators rely on accurate, reliable, and timely information to improve instruction and help all students to reach and maintain high levels of achievement. Indeed, the availability of valid, reliable, and timely data on student performance is essential for meaningful accountability and implementation of effective education reforms.
For these reasons, I am writing to urge you to do everything you can to ensure the integrity of the data used to measure student achievement and ensure meaningful educational accountability in your State. As I'm sure you know, even the hint of testing irregularities and misconduct in the test administration process could call into question school reform efforts and undermine the State accountability systems that you have painstakingly built over the past decade.
In addition, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act requires that States establish and maintain an assessment system that is valid, reliable, and consistent with professional and technical standards (Section 1111(b)(3)(C)(iii)).