October 16, 2006
Honorable Tom Horne
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Arizona Department of Education
1535 West Jefferson Street, Bin Z
Phoenix, Arizona 85007
Dear Superintendent Horne:
I am writing in response to Arizona's request to amend its State accountability plan under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). The revisions you requested that are aligned with NCLB are now included in an amended State accountability plan that Arizona submitted to the Department. The changes are listed in an attachment to this letter. I am pleased to fully approve Arizona's amended accountability plan, which we will post on the Department's website.
If, over time, Arizona makes additional changes to the accountability plan that has been approved, Arizona 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 our approval of Arizona's amended accountability plan does not affect the outstanding Title I monitoring findings that must still be resolved.
Please also be aware that approval of Arizona'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 Arizona will continue to advance its efforts to hold schools and school districts accountable for the achievement of all students. I wish you well in your school improvement efforts. If you need any additional assistance in your efforts to implement the standards, assessments and accountability provisions of NCLB, please do not hesitate to contact Abigail Potts (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Tim Vansickle (email@example.com) my staff.
Henry L. Johnsoncc: Governor Janet Napolitano
Amendments to the Arizona Accountability Plan
This attachment is a summary of the amendments. For complete details, please refer to the Arizona's accountability plan on the Department's website: www.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/stateplans03/index.html
Timely AYP Decisions: (Element 1.4)
Due to the implementation of a new student identification system, Arizona will make final AYP determinations by September 15, 2006. At the beginning of the 2006-07 school year, all schools and districts will have the same AYP status as during the 2005-06 school year. All schools and districts that cannot exit improvement status will implement the appropriate interventions prior to the start of the school year. If these schools and districts do not make AYP based on the 2005-06 assessment data, they will begin offering the next level of services. Schools and districts that did not make AYP for the first time based upon 2004-05 assessment data will plan for the possibility of offering services (i.e., public school choice) and must act immediately on the September 15, 2006 data. Schools and districts previously identified as in need of improvement that make AYP for the first time based on the 2005-06 data will continue to offer the same level of services as they did last year. Schools and districts previously identified as in need of improvement that make AYP for the second consecutive year based on 2005-06 assessment data are no longer identified for improvement and no action is required.
Annual Measurable Objectives (Element 3.2)
Revision: Beginning in 2005-06, schools and districts will be held accountable for student performance in grades 4, 6, and 7 in addition to the previously assessed grades of 3, 5, 8, and 10. Arizona will use the following set of annual measurable objectives for the newly assessed grades:
|Grade 4||Grade 6||Grade 7|