June 30, 2006
The Honorable Sandy Garrett
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Oklahoma State Department of Education
Hodge Education Building
2500 North Lincoln Boulevard
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105-4599
Dear Superintendent Garrett:
I am pleased to approve Oklahoma's assessment system under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). I congratulate you on meeting this important NCLB requirement.
My decision is based on input from peer reviewers external to the U.S. Department of Education (the Department) and Department staff who reviewed and carefully considered the evidence submitted by Oklahoma. I have concluded that the evidence demonstrates that Oklahoma's standards and assessment system satisfies the NCLB requirements. Specifically, Oklahoma's system includes academic content and student achievement standards in reading/language arts, mathematics, and science; alternate achievement standards for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities in those subjects; assessments in each of grades 3 through 10 in reading/language arts and mathematics; and alternate assessments for each subject. Accordingly, Oklahoma's system warrants Full Approval. This status means that Oklahoma's standards and assessment system meets all statutory and regulatory requirements. I understand that Oklahoma will revise and improve the State's alternate assessment. Please be advised that Oklahoma will have to submit the revised alternate assessment for peer review and Department approval before it is applied to the accountability requirements under NCLB.
Please be aware that approval of Oklahoma's assessment system under NCLB is not a determination that the system 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. Finally, please remember that, if Oklahoma makes significant changes in its standards and assessment system, the State must submit information about those changes to the Department for review and approval.
We have found it a pleasure working with your staff on this review. Please accept my congratulations for your State's approved standards and assessment system under NCLB. I wish you well in your continued efforts to improve student achievement in Oklahoma.
Henry L. Johnson
cc: Governor Brad Henry