November 5, 2010
The Honorable Susanna M. Murphy
Secretary of Education
State of New Mexico
Public Education Department
300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501-2786
Dear Secretary Murphy:
I am writing in response to New Mexico’s request to amend its state accountability plan under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended. Following discussions between the U.S. Department of Education (Department) and your staff, you made certain changes to New Mexico’s accountability plan, which are now included in the amended plan that New Mexico submitted to the Department on October 27, 2010. I am pleased to approve New Mexico’s amended plan, which we will post on the Department’s website. A summary of New Mexico’s requested amendments is enclosed with this letter. As you know, any further requests to amend New Mexico’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 Mexico’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 New Mexico 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 Grace.Ross@ed.gov of my staff.
Thelma Meléndez de Santa Ana, Ph.D.
cc: Governor Bill Richardson
Amendments to New Mexico’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 New Mexico’s complete accountability plan.
Timely accountability and adequate yearly progress (AYP) determinations (Element 1.4)
Revision: New Mexico amended its accountability workbook to include an audit of student enrollment data for new or reorganized schools for purposes of attributing annual yearly progress (AYP) history and school improvement designations to such schools. As part of this process, New Mexico will make preliminary school improvement designations for new or reorganized schools based on estimated enrollment. Parental notification of a school’s designation will occur before the start of the school year. All new or reorganized schools identified for improvement based on enrollment estimates will begin offering the appropriate level of interventions prior to the start of the school year. Final school improvement designations for new or reorganized schools will be based on actual student enrollment after the first reporting period rather than estimated enrollment prior to a school’s opening. Schools that are not initially designated for improvement but whose school improvement designations change based on results of the enrollment audit must immediately begin offering services. Schools that act on preliminary school improvement designations and then find out they are not in improvement after the enrollment audit is completed in November will not be required to continue to offer required services. Eligibility for school improvement funds will be based on a school’s AYP history as determined by the final enrollment audit.