February 8, 2007
The Honorable Susan A. Gendron
Commissioner of Education
Maine Department of Education
23 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 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 of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). Following our discussions with your staff, I am pleased to approve Maine's method of calculating adequate yearly progress based on the Maine high school assessment in the 2005-06 school year. A summary of the approved amendment is enclosed with this letter.
As you know, any further requests to amend the Maine accountability plan must be submitted to the Department for review and approval as required by section 1111(f)(2) of Title I. Please note that approval of Maine's accountability plan does not constitute approval of the State's standards and assessment system.
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.
NCLB has provided a vehicle for States to raise the achievement of all students and to close the achievement gap. We are seeing the results of our combined endeavor; achievement is rising throughout the nation. I appreciate Maine's efforts to raise the achievement of all students and hold all schools accountable. If you need any additional assistance to implement the standards, assessments, and accountability provisions of NCLB, please do not hesitate to contact Patrick Rooney (Patrick.Rooney@ed.gov) or Zollie Stevenson, Jr. (Zollie.Stevenson@ed.gov).
cc: Governor John Baldacci
Amendments to the Maine Accountability Plan
The following is a summary of the State's approved amendment. Please refer to the Department's website (refer to: www.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/stateplans03/index.html) for the complete Maine accountability plan.
Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) determinations for high school (Elements 1.2, 1.4, 3.2, and 4.1)
Revision: Maine used the SAT as the high school assessment in 2005-06 for NCLB purposes. For AYP results based on the assessments administered in 2005-06, Maine public high schools will use the following process:
- Use data from the 2005-06 SAT assessment for reading and mathematics at grade 11.
- Use the existing AMOs as listed in the Maine accountability plan.
- Determine whole school and subgroup performances using only the 2005-06 data.
- Temporarily suspend:
- The business rule of averaging multiple years of data; and
- The application of Safe Harbor.
- Apply rewards and sanctions in a manner consistent with Maine's Accountability Workbook.