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Decision Letter on Request to Amend Hawaii Accountability Plan

July 6, 2006

The Honorable Patricia Hamamoto
Superintendent of Education
Hawaii Department of Education
1390 Miller Street, #307
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813

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 of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). Following our discussions with your staff, I am pleased to approve those amendments that are aligned with NCLB and included in an amended State accountability plan that Hawaii submitted to the Department on June 22, 2006. The revised and fully approved plan will be posted on the Department's website. A summary of the approved amendments is enclosed with this letter.

As you know, any further requests to amend the Hawaii 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 Hawaii's accountability plan does not constitute approval of the State's standards and assessment system. Hawaii must continue to provide information to the Department for peer review as it continues to develop its standards and assessments to meet requirements under NCLB.

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.

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 Hawaii's efforts to raise the achievement of all students and hold all schools accountable. If you need any additional assistance to implement the standards, assessments, and accountability provisions of NCLB, please do not hesitate to contact Patrick Rooney (Patrick.Rooney@ed.gov) or Valeria Ford (Valeria.Ford@ed.gov) of my staff.

Sincerely,

Henry L. Johnson

cc: Governor Linda Lingle
Robert McClelland


Amendments to the Hawaii Accountability Plan

The following is a summary of the State's approved 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

Clarifying workbook language (all Elements)

Revision: Hawaii clarifies the language regarding most elements in its approved accountability workbook. These non-substantive changes are intended to provide additional detail regarding the Hawaii assessment and accountability system.

Including students with disabilities in AYP determinations (Element 5.3)

Revision: Pursuant to 34 C.F.R. 200.13(c), Hawaii will include the "meets" and "exceeds" proficiency scores of students with significant cognitive disabilities who are assessed based on alternate achievement standards when calculating AYP for schools and the SEA/LEA, provided the number of students at these levels does not exceed 1.0 percent of all students in the grades assessed in reading and in mathematics. If the number of students who score at the "meets" or "exceeds" level on the alternate achievement standards at the SEA/LEA level exceeds 1.0 percent, then Hawaii will determine the students with significant cognitive disabilities to be included up to the 1.0 percent cap.

Including students with disabilities in AYP determinations (Element 5.3)

Revision: Hawaii will use the "proxy method" (option 1 in our guidance dated December 2005) to take advantage of the interim flexibility regarding calculating adequate yearly progress (AYP) for the students with disabilities subgroup (refer to: www.ed.gov/policy/speced/guid/secletter/051214a.html). Hawaii will calculate a proxy to determine the percentage of students with disabilities that is equivalent to 2.0 percent of all students assessed. For this year only, this proxy will then be added to the percentage 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, Hawaii will use this adjusted percentage proficient to re-examine if the school or district made AYP for the 2005-06 school year.

Graduation rate (Element 7.1)

Revision: The State clarifies that the count of diploma recipients does not include a GED or any other degree that is not fully aligned with the Hawaii Content and Performance Standards.

Participation rate (Element 10.1)

Revision: Hawaii clarifies the workbook to state that students with invalid assessments are counted as non-participants in the participation rate calculation.

Table of Contents Decision Letters on State Accountability Plans


 
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Last Modified: 07/07/2006