February 22, 2007
The Honorable Dale Dennis
Interim Commissioner of Education
Kansas State Department of Education
120 SE 10th Avenue
Topeka, Kansas 66612-1182
Dear Commissioner Dennis:
I am writing in response to Kansas' 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 changes that are aligned with NCLB are now included in an amended State accountability plan that Kansas submitted to the Department on February 15, 2007. I am pleased to fully approve Kansas' plan, which will be posted on the Department's website. A summary of the approved amendments is enclosed with this letter.
As you know, any further requests to amend the Kansas accountability plan must be submitted to the Department for review and approval as required by section 1111(f)(2) of Title I. Please note that approval of Kansas' accountability plan does not constitute approval of the State's standards and assessment system.
I understand that Kansas made adequate yearly progress (AYP) determinations for the 2006-07 school year using the annual measurable objectives listed below that had not been submitted to the Department for review. This action impedes the Secretary's duty to ensure that States are implementing accountability plans that meet the requirements of Title I, Part A of ESEA. The Secretary takes this duty seriously and is inclined to withhold Title I funds from any State that does not fulfill its assurance of implementing its approved plan. In this one instance, however, the Secretary will not withhold Kansas' federal funds because the criteria it used to make AYP determinations are compliant with the ESEA.
Please also be aware that approval of Kansas' accountability plan for Title I, including the amendments 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 Kansas' efforts to raise the achievement of all students and hold all schools accountable. If you need any additional assistance to implement the standards, assessments, and accountability provisions of NCLB, please do not hesitate to contact Abigail Potts (Patrick.Rooney@ed.gov) or Sue Rigney (Sue.Rigney@ed.gov).
cc: Governor Kathleen Sebelius Judi Miller
AMENDMENT PROPOSALS TO THE KANSAS ACCOUNTABILITY PLAN
The following is a summary of the State's amendment requests. Please refer to the www.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/stateplans03/index.htmlDepartment's website for the complete Kansas accountability plan.
We have reviewed your request to amend the Kansas accountability plan and found the following amendments aligned with the regulations and statute. These may be included in Kansas's approved accountability plan.
Starting points, annual measurable objectives (AMOs), and intermediate goals (Elements 3.2a, 3.2b, and 3.2c)
Revision: Kansas administered new assessments in grades 3-8 and high school for the first time in 2005-06. As a result, the State reset its starting points, AMOs, and intermediate goals. However, Kansas used the reset starting points to determine AYP in September before submitting them to the Department for review. The following chart details the new targets:
|Year||Grades K-8||Grades 9-12||Grades K-8||Grades 9-12|
Transition from fixed grade administration of high school tests to grade 11 cohort accountability with banked scores (Elements 2.1 and 9.3)
Revision: Beginning with assessments administered in 2006-07, Kansas will bank reading and mathematics high school assessment results from multiple administration options until the 11th grade because many students do not receive the instruction for which the mathematics assessment is based until 11th grade. In 2005-06, the high school mathematics test was administered in grade 10 and the reading test in grade 11. For the transition year in 2006-07, Kansas will implement the following strategy in mathematics:
Mathematics transition year (2006-07)
- Whose scores are counted for AYP?
- 11th-grade students who were proficient in 10th grade.
- 11th-grade students who were non-proficient as 10th-graders and are tested for the second time in 2007. If these 2005-06 non-proficient students are not retested in 2006-07, their scores from 2006 will be used in 2006-07 AYP calculations.
- Any 11th-graders tested for the first time in 2006-07.
- Any student who is not tested by 11th grade.
- What other students could be tested at the discretion of the district?
- Some 10th-graders. Scores are banked until they are 11th-graders.
- Some 9th-graders. Scores are banked until they are 11th-graders.
- Who counts for participation?
- All 11th-grade students (current or banked participation).
- Any student who is not tested by 11th grade.