July 21, 2009
The Honorable Deborah S. Delisle
Ohio Department of Education
25 South Front Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Dear Superintendent Delisle:
On behalf of Secretary Duncan, I want to thank you for your hard work in implementing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA). As you may know, the Secretary is traveling the country and listening to representatives of states and districts, as well as other stakeholders, talk about the ways in which the ESEA can be improved. These conversations will inform the next reauthorization of the statute. In the meantime, we will push towards our reform goals under the authority of, and in accordance with, the existing statute and regulations.
Specifically, I am writing in response to Ohio’s request to amend its state accountability plan under Title I of the ESEA. Following discussions between the Department and your staff, you made a change to Ohio’s accountability plan, which is now included in the amended state accountability plan that Ohio submitted to the Department on June 25, 2009. I am pleased to approve Ohio’s amended plan, which we will post on the Department’s website. A summary of Ohio’s requested amendment is enclosed with this letter. As you know, any further requests to amend Ohio’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 Ohio’s accountability plan for Title I, including the amendment 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 Ohio 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 Victoria.Hammer@ed.gov or Clayton.Hollingshead@ed.gov of my staff.
Joseph C. Conaty
cc: Governor Ted Strickland
Amendment to Ohio’s Accountability Plan
The following is a summary of Ohio’s amendment request. Please refer to the Department’s website http://www.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/stateplans03/index.html for Ohio’s complete accountability plan.
The following amendment is aligned with the statute and regulations:
Including students with disabilities in adequate yearly progress (AYP) determinations (Element 5.3)
Revision: Ohio will use the “proxy method” (option 1 in the Department’s guidance dated December 2005) to take advantage of the transition flexibility offered by the Department pursuant to its authority under 34 C.F.R. § 200.20(g) (see http://www.ed.gov/policy/speced/guid/modachieve-summary.html) for calculating AYP for the students with disabilities subgroup for the 2008–09 school year. If a school or district misses AYP solely on the basis of the students with disabilities subgroup, a proxy of students with disabilities equivalent to 2.0 percent of all students assessed will be added to the actual percentage of students with disabilities in the school or district that was proficient or advanced. Ohio will then use this adjusted percent proficient to re-examine whether the school or district made AYP for the 2008–09 school year. The actual percentage proficient will be reported to parents and the public. Ohio will provide findings from its investigation into why scores for students in aggregate and by subgroups declined in some grades and content areas from 2006–07 to 2007–08.