June 30, 2010
The Honorable Tim Webb
Commissioner of Education
Tennessee Department of Education
Sixth Floor, Andrew Johnson Tower
710 James Robertson Parkway
Nashville, Tennessee 37243-0375
Dear Commissioner Webb:
I am writing in response to Tennessee’s request to amend its state accountability plan under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended. Following discussions between the Department and your staff, you made one change to Tennessee’s accountability plan, which is now included in the amended plan that Tennessee submitted to the Department on May 24, 2010. I am pleased to approve Tennessee’s amended plan, which we will post on the Department’s website. A summary of Tennessee’s requested amendment is enclosed with this letter. As you know, any further requests to amend Tennessee’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 Tennessee’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 Tennessee 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 (Vicki.Robinson@ed.gov) or (Sharon.Hall@ed.gov) of my staff.
Thelma Meléndez de Santa Ana, Ph.D.
cc: Governor Phil Bredesen
Amendment to Tennessee’s Accountability Plan
The following is a summary of Tennessee’s amendment request. Please refer to the Department’s website (http://www.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/stateplans03/index.html) for Tennessee’s complete accountability plan.
Holding public schools and local educational agencies (LEAs) accountable for the achievement of their students when determining adequate yearly progress (AYP) (Element 1.2)
Revision: Tennessee will assign achievement data for students in local special schools to the LEA in which the students are served when determining adequate yearly progress. These local special schools serve students with severe disabilities. Tennessee currently has five local special schools statewide.
Including students with disabilities in adequate yearly progress (AYP) determinations (Element 5.3)
Revision: Tennessee removed the two percent “proxy method” that was previously allowed (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.