September 15, 2005
Susan A. Gendron
Commissioner of Education
Maine Department of Education
23 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0023
Dear Commissioner Gendron:
I am writing in response to Maine'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). The change you requested is aligned with NCLB and is now included in an amended State accountability plan that Maine submitted to the Department on August 22, 2005. The change is listed in an attachment to this letter. I am pleased to fully approve Maine's amended plan, which we will post on the Department's website.
If, over time, Maine makes additional changes to the accountability plan that has been approved, Maine must submit information about those changes to the Department for review and approval, as required by section 1111(f)(2) of Title I. Note that approval of Maine's accountability plan is not an approval of Maine's standards and assessment system. As Maine makes changes in its standards and assessments to meet requirements under NCLB, Maine 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 Maine's accountability plan for Title I, including the amendment 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 Maine 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 Maine in its efforts to implement other aspects of NCLB, please do not hesitate to call.
Henry L. Johnson
cc: Governor John Baldacci
This attachment is a summary of the amendment. For complete details, please refer to the Maine accountability plan on the Department's website: www.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/stateplans03/index.html.
Adequate yearly progress determinations (Element 5.3)
Revision: Maine will use the "proxy method" (Option 1 in ED's guidance dated May 7, 2005) to take advantage of the Secretary's interim flexibility regarding calculating AYP for students with disabilities. Maine will calculate a proxy to determine the percentage of students with disabilities that is equivalent to 2.0 percent of all students assessed. For this year only, this proxy will then be added to the percent of students with disabilities who are proficient. For any school or district that did not make AYP solely due to its students with disabilities subgroup, Maine will use this adjusted percent proficient to reexamine if the school or district made AYP for the 2004-05 school year.