July 6, 2006
The Honorable William Moloney
Commissioner of Education
Colorado Department of Education
201 East Colfax Avenue, Room 500
Denver, Colorado 80203
Dear Commissioner Moloney:
I am writing in response to Colorado'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). The changes you requested are aligned with NCLB and address the issues raised in the Department's August 9, 2005 letter regarding the inclusion of English language learners. The revisions are now included in an amended State accountability plan that Colorado submitted to the Department. The changes are listed in an attachment to this letter. I am pleased to fully approve Colorado's amended plan, which we will post on the Department's website.
If, over time, Colorado makes additional changes to the accountability plan that has been approved, Colorado 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 Colorado's accountability plan is not also an approval of Colorado's standards and assessment system.
Please also be aware that approval of Colorado'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 Colorado 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 David Harmon (email@example.com) of my staff.
Henry L. Johnson
cc:Governor Bill Owens
Amendments to the Colorado Accountability Plan
This attachment is a summary of the amendments. For complete details, please refer to the Colorado accountability plan on the Department's website: www.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/stateplans03/index.html
Accountability system includes all students (Element 2.1)
Revision: All students are required to participate in the Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP), Lectura or the CSAP-Alternate (CSAP-A). The assessment results of all students enrolled in the school, district, or state for a full academic year are included in AYP determinations.
Including English language learners (ELL) students in Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) (Elements 5.4)
Revision: All ELL students must take the Lectura, CSAP, or CSAP-A in order to count as a participant for AYP. Any ELL student for whom Colorado does not have a valid achievement assessment result will be counted as not participating in the state assessment and will be included in the denominator when making calculations of participation rates. The assessment results for all students taking the Lectura, CSAP, and CSAP-A are included in the equation when making AYP determinations.
Calculating the Participation rate (Element 10.1)
Revision: Colorado calculates the participation rate by analyzing the number of students who do not participate in the appropriate assessments. All students in the school or districts, at the tested grade levels, are included in the denominator for percentages. Students who do not have a matched CSAP-A booklet, who were coded as taking the CSAP-A, are counted as non-participants. Students who were coded as test deferred due to language are also counted as non-participants.