June 24, 2005
Honorable Roderic W. Lewis
Idaho State Board of Education
P. O. Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720
Honorable Marilyn Howard
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Idaho Department of Education
Len B. Jordan Office Building
650 West State Street
P. O. Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720
Dear President Lewis and Superintendent Howard:
I am writing in response to Idaho'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). The changes you requested are aligned with NCLB and are now included in an amended State accountability plan that Idaho submitted to the Department on June 21, 2005. The changes are listed in an attachment to this letter. I am pleased to fully approve Idaho's amended plan, which we will post on the Department's website.
If, over time, Idaho makes changes to the accountability plan that has been approved, Idaho 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 Idaho's accountability plan is not also an approval of Idaho's standards and assessment system. As Idaho makes changes in its standards and assessments to meet requirements under NCLB, Idaho 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 Idaho'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 Idaho 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 Idaho in its efforts to implement other aspects of NCLB, please do not hesitate to call.
cc: Governor Dirk Kempthorne
Amendment to the Idaho Accountability Plan
This statement is a summary of the amendment. For complete details, please refer to the Idaho Accountability plan on the Department's website: www.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/stateplans03/index.html
Providing AYP in a timely manner (Element 1.4)
Revision The timeline has been changed to reflect the requirement that LEAs notify parents regarding school choice and supplemental services prior to the beginning of the school year.
How Students with Disabilities are included in AYP (Element 5.3)
Revision: Idaho will use the "proxy method" (Option 1 in ED's guidance dated May 7, 2005) to take advantage of the Secretary's flexibility. Idaho will calculate a proxy to determine the percentage of special education students 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 that did not make AYP solely due to its students with disabilities subgroup, Idaho will use this adjusted percent proficient to reexamine if the school made AYP for the 2004-05 school year.
Additional Academic Indicator for Elementary and Middle Public Schools (Element 7.2)
Revision: Idaho will allow districts to choose an additional academic indicator from three options.
- Meet or exceed previous Language Usage ISAT proficiency rates, or
- Reduce the percentage of students that score at the below basic level on the reading and math ISAT, or
- Increase the percentage of students that score at the advanced level on the reading and math ISAT.
Graduation Rate and Additional Academic Indicator for High School (Element 7.1)
Revision: Graduation rate disaggregated by subgroups for safe harbor determinations will not be available until the 2006-2007 school year. For 2004-05, Idaho will use the individual district's choice of additional academic indicator for elementary and middle schools as a proxy for graduation rate when it is necessary to disaggregate the data by subgroup.
Student Information Management System
Revision: Idaho will eliminate State dependence on the cancelled ISIMS project for the state accountability system.