August 11, 2005
Dr. Douglas Christensen
Nebraska Department of Education
301 Centennial Hall, South, 6th Floor
P.O. Box 94987
Lincoln, NE 68509-4987
Dear Commissioner Christensen:
I am writing in response to Nebraska'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). The change you requested is aligned with NCLB and is now included in an amended State accountability plan that Nebraska submitted to the Department on July 22, 2005. The change is listed in an attachment to this letter. I am pleased to fully approve Nebraska's amended plan, which we will post on the Department’s website.
If, over time, Nebraska makes additional changes to the accountability plan that has been approved, Nebraska must submit information about those changes to the Department for review and approval, as required by section 1111(f)(2) of Title I. Please note that approval of Nebraska's accountability plan is not also an approval of Nebraska's standards and assessment system. As Nebraska makes changes in its standards and assessments to meet requirements under NCLB, Nebraska must submit information about those changes to the Department for peer review through the standards and assessment process.
Please also be aware that approval of Nebraska's accountability plan for Title I, including the amendment 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 Nebraska 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 Nebraska in its efforts to implement other aspects of NCLB, please do not hesitate to call.
Henry L. Johnson
cc: Governor Dave Heineman
Amendment to the Nebraska Accountability Plan
This attachment is a summary of the amendment. For complete details, please refer to the Nebraska accountability plan on the Department’s website: www.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/stateplans03/index.html.
Determining adequate yearly progress (Element 3.2)
Revision: Nebraska has removed the provision that accumulates data over three years to ensure that small schools and districts are accountable for all students. Schools or districts with no accountability groups containing a minimum of 30 will be held to the provisions of the State policies on accountability defined in Appendix A of the plan.