December 21, 2006
The Honorable Richard P. Mills
New York State Education Department
111 Education Building
Albany, New York 12234
Dear Commissioner Mills:
I am writing in response to New York's request to amend its State accountability plan 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). Following our discussions with your staff, the changes that are aligned with NCLB are now included in an amended State accountability plan that New York submitted to the Department on November 29, 2006. A summary of the approved amendments is attached to this letter. I am pleased to fully approve New York's amended plan, which we will post on the Department's website.
If, over time, New York makes changes to the accountability plan that has been approved, New York must submit information about those changes to the Department for review and approval, as required by section 1111(f)(2) of Title I. Please note that approval of New York's accountability plan is not also an approval of New York's standards and assessment system.
Please also be aware that approval of New York'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 New York 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, assessments and accountability provisions of NCLB, please do not hesitate to contact Abigail Potts (firstname.lastname@example.org@ed.gov) of my staff.
Henry L. Johnson
cc: Governor George Pataki
Amendments to the New York Accountability Plan
This attachment is a summary of the amendments. For complete details, please refer to the New York accountability plan on the Department's Website www.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/stateplans03/index.html.
Annual Measurable Objectives (Element 3.2b)
Revision: Due to the new assessments being implemented for the first time in 2005-06, New York has established new starting points and annual measurable objectives.
Inclusion of Limited English Proficient Students (LEP) (Element 5.4)
Revision: New York removed references to using the New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test (NYSESLAT) as a substitute for the regular language arts assessment for purposes of calculating adequate yearly progress (AYP). Beginning in 2006-07, the NYSESLAT will be used solely as a means for certain newly arrived LEP students to meet the participation requirements in grades 3-8 English Language Arts assessments.