October 1, 2008
The Honorable Nancy Grasmick
State Superintendent of Schools
Maryland State Department of Education
200 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
Dear Superintendent Grasmick:
I am writing in response to Maryland's recent 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). Specifically, you requested one change to Maryland's accountability plan, which is now included in the amended state accountability plan that Maryland submitted to the Department on September 30, 2008. I am pleased to fully approve Maryland's amended plan, which we will post on the Department's website. A summary of the amendment submitted for the 2007-08 school year is enclosed with this letter.
Please also be aware that approval of Maryland'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.
If you need any additional assistance in implementing the standards, assessment, and accountability provisions of NCLB, please do not hesitate to contact Abigail Rogers (Abigail.Rogers@ed.gov) or Valeria Ford (Valeria.Ford@ed.gov) of my staff.
Kerri L. Briggs, Ph.D.
cc: Governor Martin O'Malley
Amendment to Maryland's Accountability Plan
The following is a summary of the state's amendment request. Please refer to the Department's website (www.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/stateplans03/index.html) for Maryland's complete Accountability Plan.
The following amendment is aligned with the statute and regulations:
Flexibility to offer the Mod-HSA appeal process for the spring 2008 administration (Element 5.3)
Revision: For 2007-08, Maryland will use the transition flexibility (option 3 in our guidance dated December 2005) regarding calculating adequate yearly progress (AYP) for the students with disabilities subgroup as authorized by 34 C.F.R. § 200.20(g) www.ed.gov/policy/speced/guid/modachieve-summary.html.). For schools that do not make AYP based solely on the students with disabilities subgroup, school Individualized Education Program (IEP) teams will review individual students' IEPs to affirm the identity of those students who might have received proficient scores on a modified assessment if one had been available. Maryland will cap student eligibility at 2.0 percent of all students assessed at the state and district level. This will include students at the high school level, including those who took the first administration of the Mod-HSA, an alternate assessment based on modified academic achievement standards, in spring 2008. This approval amends the Department's June 17, 2008 letter (see: www.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/letters/acmd9.html).