June 5, 2008
The Honorable Valerie A. Woodruff
Secretary of Education
Department of Education
The Townsend Building
P.O. Box 1402
Dover, Delaware 19903-1402
Dear Secretary Woodruff:
I am writing in response to Delaware'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 discussions between the Department and your staff, you made certain changes to your state accountability plan, which are now included in the amended state accountability plan that Delaware submitted to the Department on March 19, 2008. I am pleased to fully approve Delaware's amended plan, which we will post on the Department's website. A summary of the amendments submitted for the 2007-08 school year is enclosed with this letter. As you know, any further requests to amend Delaware's accountability plan must be submitted to the Department for review and approval as required by section 1111(f)(2) of Title I of the ESEA.
Please also be aware that approval of Delaware's accountability plan for Title I, including the amendments approved herein, 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 Delaware will continue 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 implementing the standards, assessment and accountability provisions of NCLB, please do not hesitate to contact Jessica Morffi (Jessica.firstname.lastname@example.org) or Valeria Ford (Valeria.email@example.com) of my staff.
Kerri L. Briggs, Ph.D.
cc: Governor Ruth Ann Minner
Amendments to the Delaware Accountability Plan
The following is a summary of the state's amendment requests. Please refer to the Department's website (www.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/stateplans03/index.html) for the complete Delaware accountability plan.
The following amendment is aligned with the statute and regulations.
Inclusion of the growth model (Element 3.2)
Revision: Delaware requests to continue the use of its growth model as approved by the Department in November 2006. To enable Delaware to implement its growth model as part of determining adequate yearly progress (AYP) for the 2007-08 school year, the Department will extend this flexibility agreement with Delaware under section 9401 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended for one year.
The following amendment does not comply with 34 C.F.R. § 200.20(g) and the criteria established by the Department. Therefore, it may not be included in Delaware's accountability plan.
Method for Determining Adequate Yearly Progress (Element 3.2)
Delaware's proposal to use the "proxy method" (option 1 in our guidance dated December 2005) to take advantage of the transition flexibility regarding calculating adequate yearly progress (AYP) for the students with disabilities subgroup cannot be approved by the Department. Consistent with 34 C.F.R.§ 200.20(g) and my letter to Chief State School Officers on November 19, 2007 as well as the attachment thereto (available at http://www.ed.gov/policy/elsec/guid/stateletters/amreqltr.doc), to be eligible for the transition flexibility, a state must show that it is making substantial progress in developing an alternate assessment based on modified academic achievement standards (AA-MAS). While Delaware put out a request for proposal (RFP) in 2007, which included an AA-MAS, none of the bids were accepted by the state due to budget constraints and the current assessment contract was extended through fiscal year 2010. Currently, the state legislature has a task force in place with the responsibility of writing an RFP by fall 2008 but Delaware was not able to provide evidence that an AA-MAS will be included.