December 27, 2004
Honorable Alice Seagren
Commissioner of Education
Minnesota Department of Education
1500 Highway 36 West
Roseville, Minnesota 55113-4266
Dear Commissioner Seagren:
I am writing in response to Minnesota'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, those changes that are aligned with NCLB are now included in an amended State accountability plan that Minnesota submitted to the Department on November 7, 2004. I am pleased to approve Minnesota's amendments. A list of the changes is attached to this letter. We will post Minnesota's amended plan on the Department's website.
If, over time, Minnesota makes changes to the accountability plan that has been approved, Minnesota must submit information about those changes to the Department for review and approval, as required by section 1111(f)(2) of Title I. Please be aware that approval of Minnesota'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 Minnesota 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 Minnesota in its efforts to implement other aspects of NCLB, please do not hesitate to call.
cc: Governor Tim Pawlenty
Amendments to the Minnesota Accountability Plan
These statements are summaries of the amendments. For complete details, please refer to the Minnesota Accountability plan on the Department's website: www.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/stateplans03/index.html
Uniform Averaging (Element 3.1)
Revision: Minnesota will implement uniform averaging procedures for proficiency rates in reading/language arts and mathematics. The State will average proficiency rates across as many as the previous two years.
LEP Students (Element 5.5)
Revision: Minnesota will use a minimum group size of 40 for the limited English proficient subgroup.