Administrators LEAD & MANAGE MY SCHOOL
Decision Letter on Request to Amend Mississippi Accountability Plan

September 11, 2008

The Honorable Hank M. Bounds
Superintendent
Mississippi Department of Education
P. O. Box 771
Jackson, Mississippi 39205-0771

Dear Superintendent Bounds:

I am writing in response to Mississippi'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 discussions between the Department and your staff, you made certain changes to Mississippi' accountability plan, which are now included in the amended state accountability plan that Mississippi submitted to the Department on September 4, 2008. I am pleased to fully approve Mississippi's amended plan, which we will post on the Department's website. A summary of the amendments submitted for the 2007-08 school year is enclosed with this letter. As you know, any further requests to amend the Mississippi accountability plan must be submitted to the Department for review and approval as required by section 1111(f)(2) of Title I of the ESEA.

Please also be aware that approval of Mississippi's accountability plan for Title I, including the amendments approved herein, 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 Mississippi 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, assessment, and accountability provisions of NCLB, please do not hesitate to contact Patrick Rooney (Patrick.Rooney@ed.gov>Patrick.Rooney@ed.gov) or Grace Ross (Grace.Ross@ed.gov">Grace.Ross@ed.gov) of my staff.

Sincerely,

Kerri L. Briggs, Ph.D.

Enclosure

cc: Governor Haley Barbour
Kris Kaase
Steve Hebbler


Amendments to Mississippi's 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 Mississippi's complete accountability plan.

Acceptable amendments

The following amendments are aligned with the statute and regulations.

Timeline for making AYP determinations (Elements 1.4 and 9.2)

Revision: Mississippi conducted standards setting for its new general assessments in reading/language arts and mathematics in summer 2008. At the beginning of the 2008-09 school year, all schools and districts will have the same AYP status as during the 2007-08 school year. All schools and districts that cannot exit improvement status will implement the appropriate interventions prior to the start of the school year. If these schools and districts fail to make AYP based upon preliminary 2007-08 assessment data, they will immediately begin offering the next level of services. Schools and districts on the "watch list" (i.e., schools and districts that did not make AYP based upon 2006-07 assessment data) have been notified to plan for the possibility of offering services (i.e., public school choice) and must act immediately on the preliminary building assessment reports. Schools and districts previously identified as in need of improvement that make AYP for the first time will continue to offer the same level of services. Schools and districts previously identified as in need of improvement that make AYP for the second consecutive year based upon 2007-08 assessment data will no longer be identified for improvement and no action is required.

Annual measurable objectives (AMOs) (Elements 3.2a-c)

Revision: Mississippi revised its AMOs after the achievement standards were set for its new general assessments. The new AMOs are:

Grade and Subject 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Grade 3 Reading/language arts 37 53 53 69 69 85 100
Grade 4 Reading/language arts 34 50 50 67 67 83 100
Grade 5 Reading/language arts 34 50 50 67 67 83 100
Grade 6 Reading/language arts 32 49 49 66 66 83 100
Grade 7 Reading/language arts 28 46 46 64 64 82 100
Grade 8 Reading/language arts 30 48 48 65 65 83 100
English II Grade 10 31 49 49 66 66 83 100
Grade 3 Math 42 56 56 71 71 85 100
Grade 4 Math 40 55 55 70 70 85 100
Grade 5 Math 37 53 53 69 69 85 100
Grade 6 Math 38 53 53 69 69 84 100
Grade 7 Math 37 53 53 69 69 85 100
Grade 8 Math 32 49 49 66 66 83 100
Algebra I Grade 8 80 85 85 90 90 95 100
Algebra I Grade 9 39 55 55 70 70 85 100
Algebra I Grade 10 24 43 43 62 62 81 100
Algebra I Grade 11 15 36 36 57 57 79 100
Algebra I (Old) Grade 8 79 84 84 90 90 95 100
Algebra I (Old) Grade 9 56 67 67 78 78 89 100

 
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Last Modified: 09/18/2008