February 14, 2010
The Honorable Virginia Barry
Commissioner of Education
New Hampshire Department of Education
101 Pleasant Street
Concord, New Hampshire 03301
Dear Commissioner Barry:
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 of 1965 (ESEA). You have proposed certain changes to New Hampshire’s accountability plan, which are now included in the amended state accountability plan that New Hampshire submitted to the U.S. Department of Education (Department) on December 10, 2010. I am pleased to approve New Hampshire’s amended plan, which we will post on the Department’s website. A summary of New Hampshire’s requested amendment is enclosed with this letter. As you know, any further requests to amend New Hampshire’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 New Hampshire’s accountability plan for Title I, including the amendment approved herein, does not indicate that New Hampshire’s accountability 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. If you need any additional assistance to implement the standards, assessment, and accountability provisions of the ESEA, please do not hesitate to contact Sue Rigney(Sue.Rigney@ed.gov) of my staff.
Thelma Meléndez de Santa Ana, Ph.D.
cc: Governor John Lynch
Amendment to New Hampshire’s Accountability Plan
The following is a summary of New Hampshire’s amendment request. Please refer to the Department’s website (http://www.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/stateplans03/index.html) for New Hampshire’s complete accountability plan.
Acceptable amendment The following amendment is aligned with the statute and regulations:
- Definition of graduation rate (Element 7.3)
Revision: Beginning with the Class of 2010, New Hampshire will use the “four year adjusted cohort rate” method to calculate high school graduation rate. NH DoE will track a cohort of students from 9th grade through high school and then divide the number of students who graduate with a regular high school diploma or an adult high school diploma within four years by the total number in the cohort. In other words, the rate provides the percentage of the cohort that graduates in four years or fewer. Example:
The “four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate” is defined as the number of students who graduate in four years with a regular high school diploma divided by the number of students who entered high school four years earlier (adjusting for transfers in and out, émigrés and deceased students as stated below):
- Students who graduate in four years include students who earn a regular high school diploma or an adult high school diploma at the end of their fourth year; before the end of their fourth year; and during a summer session immediately following their fourth year. The diploma must be earned before October 1, of the end of the four years.
- To remove a student from a cohort, a school or district must confirm that a student has transferred out, emigrated to another country, or is deceased, through a Beginning of Year or End of Year submission in the NH DOE.
- For students who transfer out of a school, the written confirmation, maintained by the school, must be official and document that the student has enrolled in another school or in an educational program that culminates in a regular high school diploma or an adult high school diploma. If the student has transferred to another NH public school, the new school must confirm enrollment through i4see.