June 6, 2008
The Honorable Alexa Posny
Commissioner of Education
Kansas State Department of Education
120 SE 10th Avenue
Topeka, Kansas 66612-1182
Dear Commissioner Posny:
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 discussions between the Department and your staff, you made certain changes to Kansas' accountability plan, which are now included in the amended state accountability plan that Kansas submitted to the Department on June 5, 2008. I am pleased to fully approve Kansas' 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 Kansas 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 Kansas' 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 Kansas 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 Patrick Rooney (Patrick.Rooney@ed.gov) or Clayton Hollingshead (Clayton.Hollingshead@ed.gov) of my staff.
Kerri L. Briggs, Ph.D.
cc: Governor Kathleen Sebelius
Amendments to the Kansas Accountability Plan
The following is a summary of the state's amendment requests. Please refer to the Department's Website www.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/stateplans03/index.html) for the complete Kansas accountability plan.
The following amendments are aligned with statute and regulations.
Calculating Safe Harbor in AYP determinations (Element 3.2)
Revision: Kansas revised the calculation of the 75 percent confidence interval that is applied to Safe Harbor calculations. The state will now use a standard error for the difference of proportions when calculating Safe Harbor.
Including students with disabilities in AYP determinations (Element 5.3)
Revision: Kansas will include in AYP determinations for the 2007-08 school year the scores of students with disabilities who are proficient or above (up to a 2.0 percent cap at the district and state levels) on the Kansas Assessment of Multiple Measures (KAMM), an alternate assessment based on modified academic achievement standards.
Please note that approval of this amendment by the Department does not constitute approval of the KAMM or the Kansas modified academic achievement standards. In approving this amendment, the Department expresses no opinion on the sufficiency of either the KAMM or Kansas' modified academic achievement standards.
Revision: When calculating proficiency rates, Kansas will continue to include in the students with disabilities group students who were previously identified as students with disabilities for an additional two years after they stop receiving special education services.
Determining AYP for the limited English proficient (LEP) group (Element 5.4)
Revision: When calculating proficiency rates, Kansas will continue to include in the LEP group students who were formerly LEP students for an additional two years after they no longer meet the state's definition of LEP.
State assessments (Element 6.1)
Revision: Kansas updated its list of state assessments to include science assessments at grades 4, 7, and 11.