July 26, 2006
The Honorable Glee Johnson
California State Board of Education
1430 N. Street, Suite 5111
Sacramento, California 95814
The Honorable Jack O'Connell
Superintendent of Public Instruction
California Department of Education
1430 N. Street, Suite 5602
Sacramento, California 95814
Dear President Johnson and Superintendent O'Connell:
I am writing in response to California'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 California submitted to the Department on June 26, 2006. I am pleased to approve California's amended plan which will be posted on the Department's website. A summary of the approved amendments is enclosed with this letter.
As you know, any additional requests to amend the California accountability plan must be submitted to the Department for review and approval as required by section 1111(f)(2) of Title I. Please note that approval of California's accountability plan does not constitute approval of the State's standards and assessment system.
Please also be aware that approval of California'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.
NCLB has provided a vehicle for States to raise the achievement of all students and to close the achievement gap. We are seeing the results of our combined endeavor; achievement is rising throughout the nation. I appreciate California's efforts to raise the achievement of all students and hold all schools accountable. If you need any additional assistance to implement the standards, assessment, and accountability provisions of NCLB, please do not hesitate to contact Catherine Freeman (firstname.lastname@example.org) of my staff.
Henry L. Johnson
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
Secretary Alan Bersin
Amendments to the California Accountability Plan
The following is a summary of the State's approved amendments. Please refer to the Department's website www.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/stateplans03/index.html) for the complete Kansas accountability plan.
Targeted Assistance Schools (Element 3.2)
Revision: California will end the distinction between the method of calculating adequate yearly progress (AYP) for Title I Targeted Assistance Schools (TAS) versus Schoolwide Program (SWP) Schools. In TAS, Title I funds are used to benefit only Title I-eligible students. In SWP schools, Title I funds are used to benefit all students.
Including Students with Disabilities in AYP Determinations (Element 5.3)
Revision: California will use the "proxy method" (option 1 in our guidance dated December 2005) to take advantage of the Secretary's flexibility regarding modified academic achievement standards (refer to: www.ed.gov/policy/speced/guid/secletter/051214a.html). California will calculate a proxy (20%) to determine the percentage of students with disabilities (SWD) that is equivalent to 2.0 percent of all students assessed. For 2005-06, 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, California will use this adjusted percent proficient to reexamine if the school or district made AYP for the 2005-06 school year.
Graduation Rate (Element 7.1)
Revision: For traditional, comprehensive high schools without a graduating class because of small size, start-up date, or grade span served, a proxy graduation rate will be computed using available dropout data and California Basic Educational Data System (CBEDS) data.