June 23, 2010
The Honorable June Atkinson
Superintendent of Public Instruction
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
301 North Wilmington Street
Raleigh, North Carolina 27601-2825
Dear Superintendent Atkinson:
I am writing in response to North Carolina’s request to amend its state accountability plan under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA). Following discussions between the Department and your staff, you made certain changes to North Carolina’s accountability plan, which are now included in the amended state accountability plan that North Carolina submitted to the Department on February 15, 2010. I am pleased to approve North Carolina’s amended plan, which we will post on the Department’s website. A summary of North Carolina’s requested amendments is enclosed with this letter. As you know, any further requests to amend North Carolina’s 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 North Carolina’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 North Carolina 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 the ESEA, please do not hesitate to contact Vicki.Robinson@ed.gov or Sue.Rigney@ed.gov of my staff.
Thelma Meléndez de Santa Ana, Ph.D.
cc: Governor Beverly Perdue
Amendments to North Carolina’s Accountability Plan
The following is a summary of North Carolina’s amendment requests. Please refer to the Department’s website http://www.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/stateplans03/index.html for North Carolina’s complete accountability plan.
The following amendments are aligned with the statute and regulations:
General clean-up (Element 1.3)
Revision: North Carolina requests that reference to the North Carolina Checklist of Academic Standards (NCCLAS) be removed from the Accountability Workbook.
Determining whether each student subgroup, public school, and local educational agency (LEA) in the state makes AYP (Element 3.2)
Revision: North Carolina request to allow schools and districts to use retest results for tests in grades 3 through 8 and high school end-of-course tests in making AYP determinations. All students that do not score Achievement Level III (proficient) or higher on the initial test administration will be afforded the opportunity to retake the test. The state will use the higher of the two scores from a student (either from the initial test or the first retest) in making AYP determinations.
Inclusion of limited English proficient (LEP) students in statewide assessment (Element 5.4)
Revision: North Carolina requests to change references to “intermediate high” on the State’s former language proficiency test (IPT) to “Level 4.0 Expanding” on the State’s current language proficiency test (Access for ELLs).