Administrators LEAD & MANAGE MY SCHOOL
Decision Letter on Request to Amend Tennessee Accountability Plan

Date: November 02, 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 seven changes to Tennessee’s accountability plan, which are now included in the amended plan that Tennessee submitted to the Department on September 17, 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) of my staff.

Sincerely,

Thelma Meléndez de Santa Ana, Ph.D.

Enclosure

cc: Governor Phil Bredesen
Connie Smith
Debbie Owens


Amendments to Tennessee’s Accountability Plan

The following is a summary of Tennessee’s amendment requests. Please refer to the Department’s website (http://www.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/stateplans03/index.html) for Tennessee’s complete accountability plan.

Defining at least three achievement levels in reading/language arts and mathematics for use in calculating adequate yearly progress (AYP) (Element 1.3)

Revision: As a result of its implementation of new assessments, Tennessee amended its definition of student achievement levels in reading/language arts and mathematics to include four levels of performance: below basic, basic, proficient, and advanced.

Defining AYP in a way that requires all students to be proficient in reading/language arts and mathematics by the 2013-2014 academic year (Element 3.1)

Revision: Tennessee revised this element to reflect its establishment of new starting points, annual measureable objectives (AMOs) and intermediate goals set in Summer 2010 following implementation of new assessments.

Starting points, AMOs and intermediate goals for determining AYP (Elements 3.2a-c)

Revision: In light of its implementation of new, significantly more rigorous standards and assessments, Tennessee revised these elements to reflect its establishment of new starting points, AMOs and intermediate goals used for determining AYP. More specifically, Tennessee revised its accountability workbook to reflect new starting points determined in compliance with section 1111(b)(2)(E) of the ESEA in Summer 2010 based on the results of its administration of new assessments in 2009-2010. Attendant to the establishment of the new starting points, Tennessee revised its AMO trajectory as follows so as to maintain the goal of 100 percent proficiency by 2013-2014:

Revised Targets for Reading/Language Arts and Math at the Elementary/Middle School Level

School Year Reading/Language
Arts Target
Math Target
2009-2010* 32% 20%
2010-2011 49% 40%
2011-2012 66% 60%
2012-2013 83% 80%
2013-2014 100% 100%

*Because the new targets begin with the 2009-2010 school year, the state need not revise the earlier ones.

Revised Targets for Reading/Language Arts and Math at the High School Level

School Year Reading/Language
Arts Target
Math Target
2009-2010* 49% 25%
2010-2011 61% 44%
2011-2012 74% 63%
2012-2013 87% 81%
2013-2014 100% 100%

*Because the new targets begin with the 2009-2010 school year, the state need not revise the earlier ones.

Including students with disabilities in the State’s definition of AYP (Element 5.3)

Revision: In light of its implementation of new assessments, Tennessee revised this element to reflect that scores from the TCAP-Alternate will now be reported in the four achievement levels applicable to the new assessments: below basic, basic, proficient, and advanced.

Including students with limited English proficiency in the State’s definition of AYP (Element 5.4)

Revision: In light of its implementation of new assessments, Tennessee revised this element to reflect that test scores for limited English proficient students (LEP) will now be reported in the four achievement levels applicable to the new assessments: below basic, basic, proficient, and advanced.

State Accountability Plans


 
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Last Modified: 08/04/2011