Key Policy Letters Signed by the Education Secretary or Deputy Secretary
May 10, 2005
Archived Information

May 10, 2005

Dear Chief State School Officers:

On April 7, at George Washington's Mount Vernon home, I announced a new path for No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Many chief state school officers were able to be with us for that announcement. On that day, we articulated a new, common-sense approach to implementing NCLB and outlined a set of guiding principles that will set the parameters for flexibility we can offer. We are committed to providing you with the flexibility you need to implement the law in a manner that reflects your State's unique circumstances and priorities, in keeping with NCLB.

These guiding principles are intended to ensure that the fundamental requirements of NCLB are in place. Our goal, however, is not to "reward" mere compliance with the particulars of the statute. Instead, we offer real flexibility to States that demonstrate that they are improving achievement and narrowing achievement gaps by holding schools and districts accountable for results; are providing real choices for parents; are ensuring that parents have accurate and meaningful information about their children's schools; and are improving teacher quality.

The enclosures to this letter include a "Dear Colleague" letter and information regarding the process to request approval of amendments to your State's accountability plan or consolidated plan should you wish to incorporate additional flexibility, including:

  1. "The Pursuit of Raising Achievement," which explains the process for requesting approval of additional flexibility in general; and

  2. 2. "Interim Flexibility: Accountability for Students with Disabilities Accountability Plan Amendments for 2004-05," which explains the process for requesting approval of additional flexibility for making adequate yearly progress determinations for the students with disabilities subgroup based on 2004-05 assessments.

This information should help you make amendment requests. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have additional questions or concerns. I look forward to working with you as we embark on this new path together.

  Margaret Spellings

Amendment Request
Dear Colleague Letter
Accountability Plan Amendments
Interim Options

For further information on this topic, please see the press release.

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Last Modified: 05/11/2005