July 6, 2006
The Honorable Roger Sampson
Commissioner of Education
Alaska Department of Education & Early Development
801 West Tenth Street, Suite 200
Juneau, Alaska 99801-1894
Dear Commissioner Sampson:
I am writing in response to Alaska's request to amend its State accountability plan under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). Following our discussions with your staff, the changes that are aligned with NCLB are now included in an amended State accountability plan that Alaska submitted to the Department on July 6, 2006. I am pleased to fully approve Alaska's amended plan, which we will post on the Department's website. A summary of the approved amendments is attached to this letter.
If, over time, Alaska makes changes to the accountability plan that has been approved, Alaska must submit information about those changes to the Department for review and approval, as required by section 1111(f)(2) of Title I. Please note that approval of Alaska's accountability plan is not also an approval of Alaska's standards and assessment system.
Please also be aware that approval of Alaska's accountability plan for Title I, including the amendments approved above, does not indicate that the plan complies with Federal civil rights requirements, including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and requirements under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
I am confident that Alaska will continue to advance its efforts to hold schools and school districts accountable for the achievement of all students. If you need any additional assistance to implement the standards, assessment, and accountability provisions of NCLB, please do not hesitate to contact Abigail Potts (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Zollie Stevenson (email@example.com) of my staff.
Henry L. Johnson
cc: Governor Frank Murkowski
Amendments to the Alaska Accountability Plan
This attachment is a summary of the amendments. For complete details, please refer to the Alaska accountability plan on the Department's website: http://www.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/stateplans03/index.html
Subgroup Categories (5.1)
Revision: Alaska will change its ethnic groups to include "multi-ethnic students" and to combine the American Indian and Alaskan Native groups.
Eliminate Differentiated Minimum N Size (5.5)
Revision: In the 2006-07 school year, Alaska will remove the differentiated minimum subgroup size of 40 for students with disabilities and limited English proficient students and adopt a uniform minimum subgroup size of 25 for all subgroups when calculating adequate yearly progress performance. Alaska will continue to measure a school-as-a-whole and a district-as-a-whole regardless of size.