August 15, 2005
Commissioner of Education
Kentucky Department of Education
Capital Plaza Tower
500 Mero Street
Frankfort, KY 40601
Dear Commissioner Wilhoit:
I am writing in response to Kentucky's request to amend its State accountability plan under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). You submitted all information required for consideration and approval of the State’s accountability plan. The changes you requested are aligned with NCLB and are now included in Kentucky's amended accountability plan submitted to the Department on June 16, 2005. The changes are listed in an attachment to this letter. I am pleased to fully approve Kentucky's amended plan, which we will post on the Department's website. With this approval, Kentucky may implement these amendments and apply them to the 2004-2005 AYP decisions so long as doing so does not cause AYP decisions to be made after the start of the 2005-2006 school year.
If, over time, Kentucky makes changes to the accountability plan that has been approved, Kentucky must submit information about those changes to the Department for review and approval, as required by section 1111(f)(2) of Title I. Approval of Kentucky's accountability plan is not also an approval of Kentucky's standards and assessment system. As Kentucky makes changes in its standards and assessments to meet requirements under NCLB, Kentucky must submit information about those changes to the Department for peer review through the standards and assessment process.
Please also be aware that approval of Kentucky's 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.
I am confident that Kentucky will continue to advance its efforts to hold schools and school districts accountable for the achievement of all students. I wish you well in your school improvement efforts.
If I can be of any additional assistance to Kentucky in its efforts to implement other aspects of NCLB, please do not hesitate to call.
Henry L. Johnson
cc: Governor Ernie Fletcher
Amendments to the Kentucky Accountability Plan
These statements are summaries of the amendments. For complete details, please refer to the Kentucky Accountability plan on the Department's website: www.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/stateplans03/index.html.
Multi-year averaging of the annual measurable objectives (Element 1.4)
Revision: Kentucky will use multi-year averaging when calculating annual measurable objectives (AMOs) for reading and math. That is, if a school does not meet an AMO based on the current year aggregated average of the performance of elementary, middle or high school students, the aggregated average may be computed based on the most recent two or three years of student performance data in reading and/or mathematics.
Additional academic indicator for elementary and middle schools (Element 7.2)
Revision: Kentucky will change its additional academic indicator at the elementary and middle school levels from the full accountability index to the CATS biennial classification and the CATS mid-point classification, whichever is the most currently available classification.
Use of multi-year averaging in participation rate calculations (Element 10.1)
Revision: Kentucky will apply multi-year averaging to the participation rate calculations. That is, when current year participation rates are calculated, if the participation rate for any subgroup (or the total population of students) falls below 95%, that percentage will be averaged with the one or two preceding years’ participation rate(s) for that group to determine if the average is equal to or exceeds 95%.