July 15, 2008
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 discussions between the Department and your staff, you made certain changes to your state accountability plan, which are now included in the amended state accountability plan that Indiana submitted to the Department on July 10, 2008. I am pleased to fully approve Indiana's amended plan, which we will post on the Department's website. A summary of the amendments submitted for the 2007-08 school year 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 of the ESEA.
Please also be aware that approval of Indiana'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 Indiana will continue to hold schools and school districts accountable for the achievement of all students. I wish you well in your school improvement efforts. If you need any additional assistance in implementing the standards, assessment and accountability provisions of NCLB, please do not hesitate to contact Jessica Morffi (Jessica.Morffi@ed.gov) or Collette Roney (Collette.firstname.lastname@example.org) of my staff.
Kerri L. Briggs, Ph.D.
cc: Governor Mitch Daniels
Amendments to Indiana's Accountability Plan
The following is a summary of Indiana's amendment requests. Please refer to the Department's website (www.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/stateplans03/index.html) for Indiana's complete accountability plan.
The following amendments are aligned with the statute and regulations.
Including students with disabilities in adequate yearly progress (Element 5.3)
Revision: Indiana will use the "proxy method" (option 1 in our guidance dated December 2005 and described in the Department's Non-Regulatory Guidance regarding Modified Academic Achievement Standards) to take advantage of the transition flexibility authorized by 34 C.F.R. § 200.20(g) regarding calculating AYP for the students with disabilities subgroup. See the Secretary's guidance at: www.ed.gov/policy/speced/guid/modachieve-summary.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 the 2007-08 school year only, this proxy will then be added to the percentage 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 percentage proficient to re-examine whether the school or district made AYP for the 2007-08 school year.
Inclusion of students with disabilities (Element 5.3)
Revision: Indiana will include students who exit the special education program in the students with disabilities subgroup for an additional two years.