July 7, 2011
The Honorable Susan Castillo
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Oregon Department of Education
255 Capitol Street NE
Public Service Building
Salem, Oregon 97310
Dear Superintendent Castillo:
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 amended. I am writing in response to Oregon's request to amend its state accountability plan under Title I of the ESEA. Following discussions between the Department and your staff, you made changes to Oregon's accountability plan, which are now included in the amended state accountability plan that Oregon submitted to the Department on February 14, 2011. It was determined that only one of the requested changes to Oregon's accountability plan is not aligned with the statute and regulations and, therefore, cannot be approved. I am pleased to approve Oregon's amended plan, which we will post on the Department's website. A summary of Oregon's requested amendments is enclosed with this letter. As you know, any further requests to amend Oregon'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 Oregon'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 Oregon 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, assessments, and accountability provisions of the ESEA, please do not hesitate to contact (David.Harmon@ed.gov).
Deputy Assistant Secretary
for Policy and Strategic Initiatives
cc: Governor John Kitzhaber
Amendments to Oregon's Accountability Plan
The following is a summary of Oregon's amendment requests. Please refer to the Department's website (http://www.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/stateplans03/index.html) for Oregon's complete accountability plan.
The following amendments are aligned with the statute and regulations.
Incorporating revised mathematics achievement standards into adequate yearly progress (AYP) determinations (Element 1.3)
Revision: Oregon will indicate that, beginning with 2010-11 AYP determinations, student achievement in mathematics for grades 3-8 will be evaluated using new assessments based on revised achievement standards adopted in October 2010 by Oregon's State Board of Education.
General clean-up (Elements 1.5)
Revision: Oregon made one non-substantive change in its workbook.
- Designation of full academic year (FAY) (Element 2.3)
Revision: Beginning with the 2010-11 school year, the State will use its statewide student level membership collection to designate which students have been enrolled for a full academic year at schools and LEAs respectively.
- Safe Harbor
Revision: With the implementation of new mathematics assessments for grades 3-8, Oregon has proposed a transitional measure for determining safe harbor. Specifically, to calculate safe harbor for 2010-11 only, Oregon proposes to compare grade 3-8 mathematics assessment results from 2009-10 and 2010-11 by applying the 2009-10 achievement standards to the results from both years. Through an equating process that included an analysis of test items from both the old and new assessments, Oregon determined that, for purposes of calculating safe harbor, using the 2009-1 0 achievement standards provides a statistically valid comparison of the 2009-10 and 2010-11 assessment results.
Including limited English proficient (LEP) students in the State's definition of AYP (Element 5.4)
Revision: Starting with the 20 I 0-11 school year, Oregon will offer a Spanish reading assessment in third grade. Oregon will incorporate results from this assessment into AYP determinations as an additional standard administration option for eligible students.
- Defining public high school graduation rate for use in AYP determinations (Element 7.1)
Revision: For AYP determinations based on assessments administered in the 2010-11 school year and beyond, Oregon will base its four-year cohort rate on the average of the two most recent years of data rather than data from only a single year. Similar to Oregon's practice with other indicators, a school will be allowed to meet the graduation target either via the averaged graduation data or graduation data from the most recen1 school year.
State Accountability System protects the privacy of students when reporting results and when determining AYP (Element 5.6)
Revision: The Department cannot approve Oregon's request to no longer mask AYP results for schools with greater than 99% of students meeting or exceeding the achievement standard. In guidance entitled Report Cards, Title /, Part A, Non-Regulatory Guidance (Sept. 12, 2003), the Department indicated that, to ensure personally identifiable information is not disclosed, States must adopt a strategy for dealing with a situation in which all students in a particular subgroup score at the same achievement level. One solution indentified in the guidance is to "mask" the data by noting, for example, that greater than 95% of students in a subgroup score at the same achievement level.
The following amendment is not aligned with the statute and regulations and, therefore, is not approved.