May 25, 2007
The Honorable Alice Seagren
Minnesota Department of Education
1500 Highway 36 West
Roseville, Minnesota 55113
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 of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). Following our discussions with your staff, the approved changes are now included in an amended State accountability plan that Minnesota submitted to the Department on April 25, 2007, which we will post on the Department's website. A summary of the amendments submitted for the 2006-07 school year is enclosed with this letter. As you know, any further requests to amend the Minnesota accountability plan must be submitted to the Department for review and approval as required by section 1111(f)(2) of Title I.
Please also 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. If you need any additional assistance to implement the standards, assessment, and accountability provisions of NCLB, please do not hesitate to contact Martha Snyder (Martha.Snyder@ed.gov) or Valeria Ford (Valeria.Ford@ed.gov) of my staff.
Kerri L. Briggs, Ph.D.
Acting Assistant Secretary
cc: Governor Tim Pawlenty
Amendments to the Minnesota Accountability Plan
The following is a summary of the State's amendment requests. Please refer to the Department's website (www.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/stateplans03/index.html) for the complete Minnesota accountability plan.
The following amendments are aligned with the statute and regulations.
Including Students with Disabilities (Element 5.3)
Revision: Minnesota will use the "proxy method" (option 1 in our guidance dated December 2005) to take advantage of the interim flexibility regarding calculating adequate yearly progress (AYP) for the students with disabilities subgroup (refer to: www.ed.gov/policy/elsec/guid/secletter/070207.html). Minnesota 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 percentage 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, Minnesota will use this adjusted percentage proficient to re-examine if the school or district made AYP for the 2006-07 school year.
Minimum group size (Element 5.5)
Revision: Minnesota decreased the group size necessary for the group to be included in proficiency calculations to 20 students for its students with disabilities and limited English proficient subgroups. Minnesota now uses a uniform group size for all student groups.