July 2, 2010
The Honorable Christopher Koch
State Superintendent of Education
Illinois State Board of Education
100 North First Street
Springfield, Illinois 62777-0001
Dear Superintendent Koch:
On behalf of Secretary Duncan, I want to thank you for your hard work in implementing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended. I am writing in response to Illinois' request to amend its state accountability plan under Title I of the ESEA. Following discussions between the U.S. Department of Education (the Department) and your staff, you made a change to Illinois' accountability plan, which is now included in the amended state accountability plan that Illinois submitted to the Department on February 22, 2010. I am pleased to approve Illinois' amended plan, which we will post on the Department's website. A summary of Illinois' requested amendment is enclosed with this letter. As you know, any further requests to amend Illinois' 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 Illinois' accountability plan for Title I, including the amendment 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 Illinois 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 the ESEA, please do not hesitate to contact (Vicki.Robinson@ed.gov) or (Grace.Ross@ed.gov) of my staff.
Thelma Meléndez de Santa Ana, Ph.D.
cc: Governor Pat Quinn
Amendment to Illinois' Accountability Plan
The following is a summary of Illinois' amendment request. Please refer to the Department's website (www.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/stateplans03/index.html) for Illinois' complete accountability plan.
The following amendment is aligned with the statute and regulations:
Minor revision to update state assessment schedule (Element 3.1)
Revision: Illinois updated its state assessment schedule for 2010 found in Attachment C of the accountability workbook.
Including students with disabilities in adequate yearly progress (AYP) determinations (Element 5.3)
Revision: Illinois removed the two percent "proxy method" that was previously allowed (option 1 in the Department's 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 http://www.ed.gov/policy/speced/guid/modachieve-summary.html) for calculating AYP for the students with disabilities subgroup for the 2008–09 school year.