July 5, 2005
Ms. Sandy Garrett
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Oklahoma State Department of Education
Hodge Education Building
2500 North Lincoln Boulevard
Oklahoma City, OK 73105-4599
Dear Superintendent Garrett:
I am writing in response to Oklahoma'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 changes you requested are aligned with NCLB and are now included in an amended State accountability plan that Oklahoma submitted to the Department on June 29, 2005. The changes are listed in an attachment to this letter. I am pleased to fully approve Oklahoma's amended plan, which we will post on the Department's website.
If, over time, Oklahoma makes additional changes to the accountability plan that has been approved, Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma's accountability plan is not also an approval of Oklahoma's standards and assessment system. As Oklahoma makes changes in its standards and assessments to meet requirements under NCLB, Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma's accountability plan for Title I, including the amendments 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 Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma in its efforts to implement other aspects of NCLB, please do not hesitate to call.
cc: Governor Brad Henry
Amendments to the Oklahoma Accountability Plan
This attachment is a summary of the amendments. For complete details, please refer to the Oklahoma Accountability plan on the Department's website: www.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/stateplans03/index.html.
Safe Harbor Calculations (Element 3.2)
Revision: Oklahoma intends to use a confidence interval of no greater than 75% when making AYP determinations for 'safe harbor.'
Including students with disabilities in adequate yearly progress (Element 5.3)
Revision: Oklahoma 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. Oklahoma 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, Oklahoma will use this adjusted percent proficient to reexamine if the school or district made AYP for the 2004-05 school year.