April 13, 2007
The Honorable Joseph Morton
Alabama State Department of Education
Gordon Persons Building
P.O. Box 302101
Montgomery, Alabama 36130-21001
Dear Superintendent Morton:
I am writing in response to Alabama'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 is now included in an amended State accountability plan that Alabama submitted to the Department on February 14, 2007. I am pleased to fully approve Alabama's amended plan, which we will post on the Department's website. A summary of the approved amendment is enclosed with this letter. As you know, any further requests to amend the Alabama accountability plan must be submitted to the Department for review and approval as required by section 1111(f)(2) of Title I.
Please also be aware that approval of Alabama'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 Alabama 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, assessments, and accountability provisions of NCLB, please do not hesitate to contact Jeff Johnson (Jeff.Johnson@ed.gov) or Grace Ross (Grace.Ross@ed.gov) of my staff.
Kerri L. Briggs, Ph.D.
Acting Assistant Secretary
cc: Governor Bob Riley
The following is a summary of the State's amendment request. Please refer to the Department's website (www.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/stateplans03/index.html) for the complete Alabama accountability plan.
We have reviewed your request to amend the Alabama accountability plan and found the following amendment aligned with the statute and regulations.
Including students with disabilities in adequate yearly progress (AYP) determinations (Element 5.3)
Revision: Alabama will use the "proxy method" (option 1 in our guidance dated December 2005) to take advantage of the interim flexibility regarding calculating adequate yearly progress (AYP) for the students with disabilities subgroup http://www.ed.gov/policy/elsec/guid/secletter/070207.html) Alabama will calculate a proxy to determine the percentage of students with disabilities that is equivalent to 2.0 percent of all students assessed. For this year only, this proxy will then be added to the percent of students with disabilities who are proficient. For any school or district that did not make AYP solely due to its students with disabilities subgroup, Alabama will use this adjusted percent proficient to re-examine if the school or district made AYP for the 2006-07 school year.