August 26, 2011
The Honorable Randy Dorn
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Washington Department of Public Instruction
Old Capitol Building
PO Box 47200
Olympia, Washington 98504
Dear Superintendent Dorn:
I am writing in response to Washington’s request to amend its state accountability plan under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, of 1965, as amended (ESEA). Following discussions between the Department and your staff, you made certain changes to Washington’s accountability plan, which are now included in the amended plan that Washington submitted to the Department on August 17, 2011. I am pleased to approve Washington’s amended plan, which we will post on the Department’s website. A summary of Washington’s requested amendments is enclosed with this letter. As you know, any further requests to amend Washington’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. Approval of Washington's accountability plan is not also an approval of Washington's standards and assessment system. As Washington makes changes in its standards and assessments it must submit information about those changes to the Department for peer review through the standards and assessment process.
Please also be aware that approval of Washington’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 Washington 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 Carlos.Martinez@ed.gov or Clayton.Hollingshead@ed.gov of my staff.
Acting Assistant Secretary
cc: Governor Chris Gregoire
Amendments to Washington’s Accountability Plan
The following is a summary of Washington’s amendment request. Please refer to the Department’s website www.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/stateplans03/index.html for Washington’s complete accountability plan.
Annual measurable objectives (AMOs) (Elements 3.2a-c)
Revision: Washington revised its AMOs after introducing a new end-of-course high school mathematics assessment. In accordance with the statutory requirements under section 1111(b)(2)(E) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA), Washington identified a minimum starting point of 51.3 percent. However, as permitted under the ESEA, Washington has elected to use a higher starting point than required. Specifically, Washington elected to set the AMO starting point for 2011 at a level equal to the 2010 AMO used for its prior high school mathematics assessment. Consistent with section 1111(b)(2)(F)-(H), Washington’s revised AMOs otherwise follow a trajectory to 100 percent proficiency in 2014. The new AMOs are as follows: