July 25, 2005
Honorable Patricia Hamamoto
Hawaii Department of Education
P.O. Box 2360
Honolulu, Hawaii 96804
Dear Superintendent Hamamoto:
I am writing in response to Hawaii'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). Following our discussions with your staff, those changes that are aligned with NCLB are now included in an amended state accountability plan that Hawaii submitted to the Department on July 5, 2005. A list of the changes is enclosed with this letter. I am pleased to fully approve Hawaii's amended plan, which we will post on the Department's website.
If, over time, Hawaii makes changes to the accountability plan that has been approved, Hawaii must submit information about those changes to the Department for review and approval, as required by section 1111(f)(2) of Title I. Approval of Hawaii's accountability plan is not also an approval of Hawaii's standards and assessment system. As Hawaii makes changes in its standards and assessments to meet requirements under NCLB, Hawaii must submit information about those changes to the Department for peer review through the standards and assessment process.
Please also be aware that approval of Hawaii'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 Hawaii 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 I can be of any additional assistance to Hawaii in its efforts to implement other aspects of NCLB, please do not hesitate to call.
Henry L. Johnson
cc: Governor Linda Lingle
Amendments to the Hawaii's Accountability Plan
These statements are summaries of the amendments. For complete details, please refer to the Hawaii accountability plan on the Department's website: www.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/stateplans03/index.html.
AYP determinations for schools with non-tested grades (Element 1.1)
Revision: Hawaii will use the following criteria in making AYP determinations for schools that do not have a tested grade: school selected assessments of mathematics and reading; achievement of students in the first tested grade in the next school that their students attend; achievement of students in the last tested grade in the previous school that their students attended; and State selected assessments of mathematics and reading proficiency.
Minimum group size (Elements 1.1, 3.2, 5.4, and 5.5)
Revision: Hawaii will apply a minimum group size of 40 in making AYP determinations.
Calculation of safe harbor (Element 3.2)
Revision: Using the uniform averaging procedure, Hawaii will calculate safe harbor by considering the cumulative expectations for improvement over one, two, and three years. In this approach, a school or subgroup makes AYP if it meets participation rate, the additional indicator, and the number of students who are not proficient decreases by 10% over one year, by 19% over two years, or 27% over three years.
Reliability of decisions (Element 9.1)
Revision: Hawaii will apply a standard error of measurement to the proportion of students who are proficient to ensure reliability of their AYP determinations.