Date: October 6, 2010
The Honorable Terry Holliday
Commissioner of Education
Kentucky Department of Education
Capitol Plaza Tower
500 Mero Street
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601
Dear Commissioner Holliday:
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 of 1965 (ESEA) as amended. Following discussions between the U.S. Department of Education (Department) and your staff, you made certain changes to Kentucky’s accountability plan, which are now included in the amended plan that Kentucky submitted to the Department on September 10, 2010. I am pleased to approve Kentucky’s amended plan, which we will post on the Department’s website. A summary of Kentucky’s requested amendments is enclosed with this letter. As you know, any further requests to amend Kentucky’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 Kentucky’s 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 Kentucky 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(David.Harmon@ed.gov) of my staff.
Thelma Meléndez de Santa Ana, Ph.D.
cc: Governor Steven L. Beshear
Mary Ann Miller
Amendments to Kentucky’s Accountability Plan
The following is a summary of Kentucky’s approved amendment requests, each of which is aligned with the statute and regulations. Please refer to the Department’s website (http://www.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/stateplans03/index.html) for Kentucky’s complete accountability plan.
Timely adequate yearly progress (AYP) determinations (Element 1.4)
Revision: Kentucky requested to delay public reporting of 2010 assessment results until the week of September 20, 2010, due to two significant events: H1N1 flu outbreaks and inclement weather. For the schools that enter into improvement status for the first time based on their 2009–2010 assessment results, Kentucky will require all sanctions to apply immediately upon receipt of the 2009-2010 test results. For the schools that are already aware of their upcoming status (i.e., because they cannot enter or exit improvement), LEAs will notify parents of their public school choice options at least 14 days prior to the start of the school year. For the schools that enter into improvement status for the first time based on their 2009–2010 assessment results, Kentucky will require all sanctions to apply immediately upon receipt of the 2009-2010 test results. The following waivers were granted on April 15, 2010:
- Section 1116(a)(2) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which requires that a State educational agency (SEA) ensure that the results of state assessments administered in a given school year are available to an LEA before the beginning of the next school year.
- ESEA section 1116(b)(1)(E)(i), which requires that an LEA notify parents of their public school choice options before the start of the school year.
- 34 C.F.R. § 200.37(b)(4)(iv), which requires that an LEA provide parents of eligible students with notice of their public school choice options at least 14 days before the start of the school year.
State Report Card (Element 1.5)
Revision: Kentucky updated its accountability workbook to reflect changes made to the State Report Card. The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) modified its State Report Card to incorporate the most recent two-year trend in student achievement in reading and mathematics for grades 3-8 and the professional qualifications of teachers in the State, including the percentage teaching with emergency or provisional credentials, and the percentage of classes not taught by highly qualified teachers, in the aggregate and disaggregated by high-poverty compared to low-poverty schools, as well as other required information that was previously lacking from the report card.
AYP reporting (Element 3.2)
Revision: Kentucky amended the calculation for the other academic indicator at elementary and middle school levels. Schools and districts shall demonstrate improvement on the state-required assessment for Science, Social Studies and Writing On-Demand. “Improvement” shall be defined as an increase in the current year aggregate percentage of students scoring proficient and above compared to the prior year or performance at or above the state aggregate percentage or a decrease in the aggregate percentage of students scoring at the Novice level for all five state-required content areas combined. Students included in the calculation for other academic indicator at elementary and middle school shall be those students enrolled for any 100 instructional days of the current school year being reported. For the calculation of safe harbor for schools or districts that have not met the reading or mathematics annual measurable objectives (AMOs), the performance of total students or subpopulations not meeting the AMOs shall be improved by reducing the percentage of students scoring below proficient by 10 percent.
Uniform averaging procedure (Element 3.2)
Revision: Kentucky will average data in 2010 and also in 2011 from the school year for which the determination is made with the data from one or two school years immediately preceding the school year.
Including students with disabilities in AYP determinations (Element 5.3)
Revision: Kentucky updated its accountability workbook to describe the process for a local educational agency (LEA) to request permission to exceed the one percent cap on the number of proficient or advanced scores on an alternate assessment based on alternate academic achievement standards that may be counted as such in AYP determinations.
Including limited English proficient (LEP) students in AYP determinations (Element 5.4)
Revision: Kentucky updated its accountability workbook to reflect current practices for identifying and assessing the academic achievement of limited English proficient (LEP) students. To ensure consistent information to all LEAs regarding assessment accommodations for LEP students, Kentucky is updating its state student data system to provide clearly distinguished instructional and assessment accommodations and exit criteria for LEP students.