Decision Letter on Request to Amend California Accountability Plan

October 7, 2005

Ruth E. Green
California State Board of Education
1430 N Street, Suite 5111
Sacramento, CA 95814

Jack O'Connell
Superintendent of Public Instruction
California Department of Education
P.O. Box 944272
Sacramento, CA 94244-2720

Dear President Green and Superintendent O'Connell:

I am writing in response to California's request to amend its State accountability plan under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). The changes you requested are aligned with NCLB and are now included in an amended State accountability plan that California submitted to the Department on September 23, 2005. The changes are listed in an attachment to this letter. I am pleased to approve California's amended plan, which we will post on the Department's website.

If, over time, California makes changes to the accountability plan that has been approved, California must submit information about those changes to the Department for review and approval, as required by section 1111(f)(2) of Title I. Approval of California's accountability plan is not also an approval of California's standards and assessment system. As California makes changes in its standards and assessments to meet requirements under NCLB, California 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 California's accountability plan for Title I, including the amendments approved above, 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 California will continue to advance its efforts to hold schools and school districts accountable for the achievement of all students. I wish you well in your school improvement efforts. If I can be of any additional assistance to California in its efforts to implement other aspects of NCLB, please do not hesitate to call.


Henry Johnson


cc: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

Amendments to the California Accountability Plan

These statements are summaries of the amendments. For complete details, please refer to the California accountability plan on the Department's website: www.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/stateplans03/index.html.

Uniform Averaging Procedure (Elements 1.1 and 3.2)

Revision: California will average up to three years of data for subgroups, schools, and districts in making AYP determinations.

Confidence Interval (Elements 1.1 and 4.1)

Revision: California will apply a 99 percent confidence interval for schools and districts with less than 100 scores when determining AYP.

Schools with Untested Grades (Element 1.1)

Revision: In making AYP decisions for charter schools with untested grades, California will use the combined data of the charter school authorizer, so long as the State is not the authorizer.

Targeted Assistance Schools (Element 1.4)

Revision: California will disaggregate assessment data for all of the required subgroups within the economically disadvantaged subgroup and use the results to identify schools for school improvement.

District Identification for Improvement (Element 3.2)

Revision: California will identify districts for improvement that miss AYP in all grade spans in the same subject or additional indicators for two consecutive years. In implementing this provision, California should 1) monitor districts that have not made AYP in one grade span but have not been identified for improvement to ensure they are making the necessary curricular and instructional changes to improve achievement, and 2) take steps to ensure supplemental services are available to eligible students from a variety of providers throughout the state (including in districts that have not been identified for improvement but that have schools that have been in improvement for more than one year).

Safe Harbor Reliability (Elements 3.2 and 5.2)

Revision: California will apply a 75 percent confidence interval for AYP determinations under safe harbor.

Accountability for Student with Disabilities in County Office of Education (COE) Programs (Element 5.3)

Revision: California will assign the test results for students with disabilities in COE programs to the students' districts of residence for district accountability only.

English Language Learners Classification (Element 5.4)

Revision: California will include local indicators, which may include grades, teacher opinion and parent consultation as additional exit criteria for limited English proficiency status.

Graduation Rates (Element 7.1)

Revision: In making AYP decisions for charter schools that do not graduate students, California will use the combined graduation rate data of the charter school authorizer, so long as the State is not the authorizer.

Revision: California will apply the county's graduation rate to the AYP determinations of schools or programs within the COEs that do not graduate students as a primary mission.

Rounding of Participation Rate (Element 10.2)

Revision: California will apply standard rounding rules to participation rate calculations.

Table of Contents Decision Letters on State Accountability Plans

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Last Modified: 10/26/2005