September 27, 2006
The Honorable 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 of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). Following our discussions with your staff, I am pleased to approve the amendments that are aligned with NCLB; the revised and fully approved plan will be posted on the Department's website. A summary of the approved amendments is enclosed with this letter.
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.
NCLB has provided a vehicle for States to raise the achievement of all students and to close the achievement gap. We are seeing the results of our combined endeavor; achievement is rising throughout the nation. I appreciate Oklahoma's efforts to raise the achievement of all students and hold all schools accountable. I wish you continued success in your school improvement efforts. If you need any additional assistance in your efforts to implement the standards, assessments, and accountability provisions of NCLB, please do not hesitate to contact Catherine Freeman (firstname.lastname@example.org) of my staff.
Henry L. Johnson
cc: Governor Brad Henry Jennifer Stegman
Amendments to the Oklahoma Accountability Plan
The following is a summary of the State's approved amendments. Please refer to the Department's website (www.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/stateplans03/index.html) for the complete Oklahoma accountability plan.
Determining Improvement Status for Schools and Districts (Critical Element 3.2)
Revision: Oklahoma requests an amendment to clarify the language, stating that the additional indicator (i.e., attendance or graduation rate) will be applied to each grade span separately, as applicable to the specific grade span. Elementary and Middle School spans will utilize attendance rate as the additional indicator; High School spans will utilize graduation rate.
Including students with disabilities in adequate yearly progress (AYP) (Element 5.3)
Revision: For the 2005-06 school year, Oklahoma is once again requesting interim flexibility regarding modified achievement standards. Oklahoma will calculate a proxy (14%) to determine the percentage of students with disabilities (SWD) that is equivalent to 2.0 percent of all students assessed. For 2005-06, 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's adjusted percent proficient will be equated to api by adding 420 api points to the reading performance benchmark and 504 api points to the math performance benchmark to reexamine if the school or district made AYP for the 2005-06 school year.
Including all students in subgroups in determining AYP (Element 5.1)
Revision: Oklahoma indicates that it disaggregates test results for the following:
- Major racial/ethnic groups: Black, American Indian, Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, White, and Other
- Economically disadvantaged
- English language learner
- Students with disabilities
Test results are disaggregated from the All Students group. All students will be represented in each of the subgroups to which they belong. Schools are held accountable for the achievement of each of these subgroups in the determination of AYP.