August 16, 2005
Commissioner of Education
Kansas State Department of Education
120 SE 10th Avenue
Topeka, KS 66612-1182
Dear Commissioner Tompkins:
I am writing in response to Kansas's request to amend its State accountability plan to include the interim flexibility announced by the Secretary in April 2005 regarding calculating adequate yearly progress (AYP) for the students with disabilities subgroup. Your request for this flexibility would not affect accountability determinations until Kansas's spring 2006 test administration, resulting in 2006-2007 school year AYP determinations based on the flexibility.
We are pleased that you are interested in this flexibility; however, we do not yet know what flexibility will be offered next year. The Secretary expressed her willingness to provide States this interim flexibility for the 2004-2005 school year while the U.S. Department of Education (ED) promulgates a regulation to permit States to develop modified achievement standards and aligned assessments for certain students with disabilities. As we move forward developing this regulation, we will know better what flexibility, if any, would be beneficial for 2005-2006. Be assured you will have an opportunity to resubmit your request.
Again, thank you for the opportunity to review Kansas's request for interim flexibility. We look forward to working with you further as the department establishes a regulation regarding the development of modified achievement standards and aligned assessments for students with disabilities and any further associated flexibility. If I can be of any additional assistance to Kansas in its efforts to implement other aspects of NCLB, please do not hesitate to call.
Henry L. Johnson
cc: Governor Kathleen Sebelius
Alexa Posny, Assistant Commissioner of Education