June 25, 2007
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, the changes are now included in an amended State accountability plan that Hawaii submitted to the Department on May 11, 2007. I am pleased to fully approve Hawaii's 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 further requests to amend Hawaii's accountability plan must be submitted to the Department for review and approval as required by section 1111(f)(2) of Title I.
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 its students and to 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 Patrick Rooney (Patrick.Rooney@ed.gov) or Valeria Ford (Valeria.Ford@ed.gov) of my staff.
Kerri L. Briggs, Ph.D.
cc: Governor Linda Lingle
Amendments to the Hawaii 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 Hawaii accountability plan.
The following amendments are aligned with the statute and regulations.
Including students with disabilities in adequate yearly progress (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 AYP for the students with disabilities subgroup (refer to: www.ed.gov/policy/elsec/guid/secletter/070207.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 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, Hawaii will use this adjusted percent proficient to re-examine if the school or district made AYP for the 2006-07 school year.
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 the most significant cognitive disabilities who are assessed based on alternate academic 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 alternate academic achievement standards at the SEA/LEA level exceeds 1.0 percent, then Hawaii will determine the students with the most significant cognitive disabilities to be included in the 1.0 percent cap using an 8-step ordering of students, based upon whether the student was placed in the school by determination of an IEP team, a hearings officer, or a judge, followed by whether the student is also limited English proficient or economically disadvantaged.
The following amendment may not be included in Hawaii's accountability plan.
Growth model in AYP determinations (Element 3.1)
Hawaii submitted a growth model for the Secretary's pilot that was forwarded for peer review on March 15-16, 2007. Due to concerns regarding Hawaii's ability to track individual students and its lack of an approved assessment system, the Department did not approve Hawaii to include its growth model in AYP determinations for 2006-07.