May 22, 2009
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 you may know, the Secretary is traveling the country and listening to officials in states and school 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.
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, Oregon made two changes to its accountability plan, which are now included in the amended plan that Oregon submitted to the Department on May 5, 2009. 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, assessment, and accountability provisions of the ESEA, please do not hesitate to contact (Patrick.Rooney@ed.gov) or (David.Harmon@ed.gov) of my staff.
Joseph C. Conaty
Enclosurecc: Governor Ted Kulongoski
Amendments to Oregon's Accountability Plan
The following is a summary of Oregon’s amendment requests. Please refer to the Department’s website (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.
Including limited English proficient students in AYP determinations (Element 5.4)
Revision: Oregon removed the references to the Spanish-language assessment in grade 3.
Graduation rate (Element 7.1)
Revision: Oregon has decided to first implement a four-year adjusted-cohort graduation rate with the class of 2009 high school graduates, rather than the class of 2008. Oregon will first report this adjusted-cohort rate and use it in AYP determinations with the assessment results administered in the 2009–10 school year. In the interim, Oregon will continue to use its existing rate and its graduation rate target will remain 68.1 percent.
Please note that Oregon’s graduation rate target is approved only for use in making AYP determinations based on assessments administered during the 2008–09 school year. In accordance with 34 C.F.R. § 200.19(b)(6)(ii), Oregon must submit for peer review and approval its graduation rate goal and targets for 200910 and beyond.