July 5, 2006
The Honorable D. Kent King
Commissioner of Education
Missouri Department of Elementary
& Secondary Education
205 Jefferson Street, 6th Floor
Jefferson City, Missouri 65102
Dear Commissioner King
I am writing in response to Missouri'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 changes that are aligned with NCLB are now included in an amended State accountability plan that Missouri submitted to the Department on April 12, 2006. A summary of the approved amendments is attached to this letter. I am pleased to fully approve Missouri's amended plan, which we will post on the Department's website.
As you know, if Missouri makes changes to the accountability plan that has been approved, Missouri must submit information about those changes to the Department for review and approval, as required by section 1111(f)(2) of Title I. Please know that approval of Missouri's accountability plan is not an approval of Missouri's standards and assessment system.
Please also be aware that approval of Missouri'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 Missouri will continue to hold schools and school districts accountable for the achievement of all students. I wish you well in your school improvement efforts. If you need any additional assistance in implementing the standards, assessments and accountability provisions of NCLB, please do not hesitate to contact Abigail Potts (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Grace Ross (email@example.com) of my staff.Sincerely,
Henry L. Johnson
cc: Governor Matt Blunt
Amendments to the Missouri Accountability Plan
This is a summary of the amendments. For complete details, please refer to the Missouri accountability plan on the Department's website: www.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/stateplans03/index.html.
School Accountability (Element 1.2)
Revision: Missouri requests to use its current annual measurable objectives (AMOs), based on grade-span assessments, for calculating adequate yearly progress (AYP) this school year. Missouri is implementing additional assessments in grades 4, 5, 6, and 8 for reading/language arts and 3, 5, 6, and 7 for mathematics. Standard setting on the new assessments will not be final until late summer 2006. The use of the current AMOs will allow schools and districts to know the goal for this school year before the assessments are administered. Missouri will recalculate the AMOs based on the new 3-12 assessment system and will implement these new AMOs in 2006-07.
LEA Identification for Improvement (Element 4.1)
Revision: Missouri clarified that a district must miss AYP in all grade spans in the same subject or in the other academic indicator across all grade spans for two consecutive years to be identified for improvement.