April 4, 2007
The Honorable Suellen K. Reed
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Indiana Department of Education
State House, Room 229
Indianapolis, IN 46204-2798
Dear Superintendent Reed:
I am writing in response to Indiana'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 change is now included in an amended State accountability plan that Indiana submitted to the Department on March 14, 2007. I am pleased to fully approve Indiana's plan, which will be posted on the Department's website. A summary of the approved amendment is enclosed with this letter. As you know, any further requests to amend the Indiana 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 Indiana's accountability plan for Title I, including the amendment 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 Indiana's efforts to raise the achievement of all students and 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 Jeff Johnson (Jeff.Johnson@ed.gov) or David Harmon (David.Harmon@ed.gov) of my staff.
Kerri L. Briggs, Ph.D.
Acting Assistant Secretary
cc: Governor Mitch Daniels
Amendment to the Indiana Accountability Plan
The following is a summary of the State's amendment request. Please refer to the Department's website www.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/stateplans03/index.html for the complete Indiana accountability plan.
We have reviewed your request to amend the Indiana accountability plan and found the following amendment aligned with the statute and regulations.
Including students with disabilities in AYP (Element 5.3)
Revision: Indiana 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: http://www.ed.gov/policy/elsec/guid/secletter/070207.html). Indiana 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, Indiana will use this adjusted percent proficient to re-examine if the school or district made AYP for the 2006-07 school year.
Please note that the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) sent Indiana a letter on November 22, 2006, regarding findings from the verification visit for Parts B and C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), as amended in 2004. Indiana must resolve the findings noted in that letter, particularly regarding the district-wide assessments.