June 30, 2008
The Honorable Tom Luna
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Idaho Department of Education
Len B. Jordan Office Building
650 West State Street
P. O. Box 83720
Boise, Idaho 83720
Dear Superintendent Luna:
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 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 Idaho's accountability plan, which are now included in the amended state accountability plan that Idaho submitted to the Department on June 30, 2008. I am pleased to approve Idaho's amended plan, which we will post on the Department's website. A summary of Idaho's requested amendments is enclosed with this letter. As you know, any further requests to amend Idaho'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 Idaho'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 Idaho will continue to advance its efforts to hold schools and school districts accountable for the achievement of all students. If you need any additional assistance to implement the standards, assessment, and accountability provisions of NCLB, please do not hesitate to contact Lauren Prehoda (Lauren.Prehoda@ed.gov) or Sharon Hall (Sharon.Hall@ed.gov) of my staff.
Kerri L. Briggs, Ph.D.
cc: Governor Butch Otter
Amendments to Idaho's Accountability Plan
The following is a summary of Idaho's amendment requests. Please refer to the Department's website (www.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/stateplans03/index.html) for Idaho's complete accountability plan.
The following amendments are aligned with the statute and regulations:
Adequate Yearly Progress for Small Schools (Element 1.2)
Revision: Idaho will adjust its procedure for making adequate yearly progress (AYP) determinations for small schools. Fifty-one schools in Idaho have fewer than the requisite number of students (34) in the tested grades. For these schools, Idaho currently determines AYP by averaging the current year's Idaho State Achievement Test (ISAT) scores with scores from the previous two years. Idaho will now use the higher of the current year's score or the three-year average when determining whether the school made AYP.
Annual Measurable Objectives (Element 3.2)
Revision: Idaho will adjust the progression of its annual measurable objectives (AMOs) to have all students reaching proficiency by 2013-14 instead of by 2012-13. Idaho will use the same AMO targets in the 2008-09 school year that it used in 2006-07 and 2007-08, and will push its remaining targets back by one year to have all students reaching proficiency by 2013-14.
Including Students with Disabilities in AYP (Element 5.3)
Revision: Idaho will use the "proxy method" (option 1 in our guidance dated December 2005) to take advantage of the transition flexibility offered by the Department pursuant to its authority under 34 C.F.R. § 200.20(g) (see (www.ed.gov/policy/speced/guid/modachieve-summary.html) for calculating AYP for the students with disabilities subgroup for the 2007-08 school year. If a school misses AYP solely on the basis of the students with disabilities subgroup, a proxy that is equivalent to 2.0 percent of all students tested will be added to the percentage of students with disabilities in the school that were proficient. Idaho will use this adjusted percent proficient to re-examine whether the school or district made AYP for the 2007-08 school year. The actual percentage proficient will be reported to parents and the public.