October 26, 2005
Dr. Nancy S. 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 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). Following our discussions with your staff, the change that is aligned with NCLB is now included in an amended State accountability plan that Maryland submitted to the Department on October 13, 2005. A summary of the change is attached to this letter. I am pleased to fully approve Maryland's amended plan, which we will post on the Department's website.
As you know, Maryland has already submitted changes in its standards and assessment system to the Department for peer review, and we have communicated the results of that review separately. Maryland will need to submit its new high school mathematics assessment for peer review also.
If, over time, Maryland makes additional changes to the accountability plan that has been approved, Maryland must submit information about those changes to the Department for review and approval, as required by section 1111(f)(2) of Title I. Please also be aware that approval of Maryland'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 Maryland 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 Maryland in its efforts to implement other aspects of NCLB, please do not hesitate to call.
Henry L. Johnson
cc: Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr.
Amendments to the Maryland Accountability Plan
This attachment is a summary of the amendments. For complete details, please refer to the Maryland accountability plan on the Department's website: http://www.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/stateplans03/index.html.
Measuring achievement in reading/language arts and mathematics separately for determining AYP (Element 8.1)
Revision: Maryland will replace the geometry end-of-course assessment with an algebra/data analysis end-of-course assessment to determine high school performance in mathematics as required by the No Child Left Behind Act. The change will take effect for the 2005-2006 AYP determinations.