May 11, 2005
The Honorable Cecil J. Picard
State Superintendent of Education
Louisiana Department of Education
P. O. Box 94064
Baton Rouge, LA 70804
Dear Superintendent Picard,
As you know, Louisiana indicated in its accountability plan the intent to use a confidence interval for 'safe harbor' considerations. In his letter of June 27, 2003, former Under Secretary Eugene Hickok approved Louisiana's use of this statistical method but required the State to provide the Department information on the impact and implications of this approach as a condition of receiving final approval of Louisiana's accountability plan. This condition is also reflected on Louisiana's fiscal year 2004 Title I, Part A grant award.
We have received sufficient information from States to conclude that the use of a 75% confidence interval for 'safe harbor' considerations is a viable means of determining AYP. As a result, we are removing this condition from Louisiana's 2004 grant award.
I appreciate the efforts Louisiana has made to remove the conditions on its accountability plan and ensure its ability to hold all schools accountable for the academic success of all students.