April 14, 2009
The Honorable Alexa Posny
Commissioner of Education
Kansas State Department of Education
120 SE 10th Avenue
Topeka, Kansas 66612-1182
Dear Commissioner Posny:
On behalf of Secretary Duncan, I want to thank you for your hard work in implementing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA). As you may know, the Secretary will be traveling the country and listening to states, districts, and other stakeholders talk about the ways in which the ESEA can be improved. These conversations will inform the next reauthorization of the statute. In the meantime, we will push towards our reform goals under the authority of, and in accordance with, the existing statute and regulations.
Specifically, I am writing in response to Kansas's request to amend its state accountability plan under Title I of the ESEA. Following discussions between the Department and your staff, you made a change to Kansas's accountability plan, which is now included in the amended state accountability plan that Kansas submitted to the Department on March 25, 2009. I am pleased to approve Kansas's amended plan, which we will post on the Department’s website. A summary of Kansas’s requested amendment is enclosed with this letter. As you know, any further requests to amend Kansas’s 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's accountability plan for Title I, including the amendment 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 advance its efforts to hold schools and school districts accountable for the achievement of all students. If you need any additional assistance to implement the standards, assessment, and accountability provisions of the ESEA, please do not hesitate to contact (Vicki Robinson@ed.gov) or (Clayton.Hollingshead@ed.gov) of my staff.
Joseph C. Conaty
cc: Governor Kathleen Sebelius
Amendments to the Kansas Accountability Plan
The following is a summary of Kansas's amendment request. Please refer to the Department's website www.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/stateplans03/index.html for Kansas's complete accountability plan.
The following amendment is aligned with the statute and regulations:
Including students with disabilities in AYP determinations (Element 5.3
Revision: Kansas notified the Department on January 28, 2009, of its intent to apply for the transition flexibility approved in the 2006-07 and 2007-08 accountability workbooks relating to the implementation of alternate assessments based on modified academic achievement standards (AA-MAAS), the Kansas Assessment of Multiple Measures (KAMM), in AYP determinations for the assessments administered in the 2008-09 school year. This option is offered by the Department pursuant to its authority under 34 C.F.R. §220.20(g). See http://www.ed.gov/policy/speced/guid/modachieve-summary.html http://www.ed.gov/policy/speced/guid/nclb/twopercent.doc.