September 15, 2005
Dr. Lyonel Tracy
Commissioner of Education
New Hampshire Department of Education
101 Pleasant Street
State Office Park South
Concord, NH 03301
Dear Commissioner Tracy:
I am writing in response to New Hampshire'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 New Hampshire submitted to the Department on August 24, 2005. The change is listed in an attachment to this letter. I am pleased to fully approve New Hampshire's amended plan, which we will post on the Department's website.
If, over time, New Hampshire makes additional changes to the accountability plan that has been approved, New Hampshire must submit information about those changes to the Department for review and approval, as required by section 1111(f)(2) of Title I. Note that approval of New Hampshire's accountability plan is not an approval of New Hampshire's standards and assessment system. As New Hampshire makes changes in its standards and assessments to meet requirements under NCLB, New Hampshire 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 New Hampshire'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 New Hampshire 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 New Hampshire in its efforts to implement other aspects of NCLB, please do not hesitate to call.
Henry L. Johnson
cc: Governor John Lynch
Amendments to New Hampshire's Accountability Plan
These statements are summaries of the amendments. For complete details, please refer to the New Hampshire accountability plan on the Department's website: www.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/stateplans03/index.html.
Adequate yearly progress determinations (Element 5.3)
Revision: New Hampshire will use the "proxy method" (Option 1 in ED's guidance dated May 7, 2005) to take advantage of the Secretary's interim flexibility regarding calculating AYP for students with disabilities. New Hampshire 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 percent 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, New Hampshire will use this adjusted percent proficient to reexamine if the school or district made AYP for the 2004-05 school year.