January 12, 2007
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 change that is aligned with NCLB is now included in an amended State accountability plan that Alaska submitted to the Department on November 29, 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 amendment 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 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 Jeff Johnson (Jeff.Johnson@ed.gov) or Zollie Stevenson (Zollie.Stevenson@ed.gov) of my staff.
cc: Governor Sara Palin
Amendment to the Alaska Accountability Plan
This attachment is a summary of the amendment. For complete details, please refer to the Alaska accountability plan on the Department's website: www.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/stateplans03/index.html.
Inclusion of English Language Learners (Element 5.4)
Revision: Alaska will exempt a recently arrived LEP student from one assessment administration of the reading/language arts assessment if the student is new to the United States and enrolled in school during the twelve calendar months prior to the current year test administration, but after the previous years' test administration. The recently arrived LEP student who is exempted from participation in the reading and writing assessments must participate in the statewide English language proficiency assessment.