August 25, 2005
Michael P. Flanagan
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Michigan Department of Education
608 West Allegan Street
Lansing, MI 48909
Dear Superintendent Flanagan:
I am writing in response to Michigan'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 changes you requested are aligned with NCLB and are now included in an amended State accountability plan that Michigan submitted to the Department on August 5, 2005. The changes are listed in an attachment to this letter. I am pleased to fully approve Michigan's amended accountability plan, which we will post on the Department's website.
If, over time, Michigan makes changes to the accountability plan that has been approved, Michigan must submit information about those changes to the Department for review and approval, as required by section 1111(f)(2) of Title I. Approval of Michigan's accountability plan is not also an approval of Michigan's standards and assessment system. As Michigan makes changes in its standards and assessments to meet requirements under NCLB, Michigan 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 Michigan'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 Michigan 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 Michigan in its efforts to implement other aspects of NCLB, please do not hesitate to call.
Henry L. Johnson
cc: Governor Jennifer M. Granholm
Amendments to Michigan's Accountability Plan
These statements are summaries of the amendments. For complete details, please refer to the Michigan accountability plan on the Department's website: www.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/stateplans03/index.html.
Standard error of measurement for individual student scores (Element 4.1)
Revision: Michigan will apply an error band of 2 standard errors to each student score. Student scores that fall within this error band will be counted as proficient in the calculation of AYP.
Assessment of students with disabilities (Element 5.3)
Revision: Michigan will take advantage of the Secretary's interim 2% flexibility for calculating adequate yearly progress for students with disabilities (Option 2 in our guidance dated May 7, 2005). Michigan will apply the results from existing assessments based on modified achievement standards for the AYP calculations of schools and districts that did not make AYP solely on the performance of students with disabilities. Proficient scores from the MI-Access Participation and Supported Independence assessment will be limited to 1% of the total student population tested. Proficient scores from the MI-Access Functional Independence assessment will be limited to 2% of the total population tested. Approval of this approach is not an approval of Michigan's modified achievement standards, which must be submitted for peer review.
Minimum group size for schools and school districts (Element 5.5)
Revision: Michigan will apply a minimum group size for schools and districts of 30 students or 1% of the student population (for each subgroup); whichever is larger, with a cap of 200.