Decision Letter on Request to Amend Idaho Accountability Plan
March 26, 2010
The Honorable Mike Rush
Idaho State Board of Education
650 West State Street
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, Idaho 83720-0037
The Honorable Tom Luna
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Idaho Department of Education
Len B. Jordan Office Building
650 West State Street
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, Idaho 83720-0027
Dear Executive Director Rush and Superintendent Luna:
On behalf of Secretary Duncan, I want to thank you for your hard work in implementing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA). I am writing in response to Idaho’s request to amend its state accountability plan under Title I of the ESEA. Following discussions between the Department and your staff, you made certain changes to Idaho’s accountability plan, which are now included in the amended plan that Idaho submitted to the Department on December 15, 2009. I am pleased to approve Idaho’s amended plan, which we will post on the Department’s website. A summary of Idaho’s requested amendments is enclosed with this letter. As you know, any further requests to amend Idaho’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.
Please also be aware that approval of Idaho’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 Idaho 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 Vicki.Robinson@ed.gov or Sharon.Hall@ed.gov of my staff.
Thelma Meléndez de Santa Ana, Ph.D.
cc: Governor Butch Otter
Amendments to Idaho’s Accountability Plan
The following is a summary of Idaho’s amendment requests. Please refer to the Department’s website (www.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/stateplans03/index.html) for Idaho’s complete accountability plan.
The following amendments are aligned with the statute and regulations.
Report cards (Element 1.5)
Revision: Idaho updated its accountability workbook to reflect current practices regarding the creation and dissemination of the required state, district, and school report cards.
Including all students (Element 2.1)
Revision: Idaho clarified that the scores of students who have exited from a limited English proficient (LEP) program may be counted, for up to two years after they exit the program in determining AYP for the LEP subgroup. However, exited LEP students are not included in the LEP subgroup unless the number of LEP students in the subgroup already meets the minimum group size of 34 students.
Definition of full academic year (Element 2.2)
Revision: Idaho clarified that, for purposes of determining whether a student has been enrolled in a school or district for a full academic year, an expulsion will constitute a form of withdrawal or exit from school that creates a break in continuous enrollment. A temporary suspension, however, does not constitute a break in continuous enrollment, which means that a student who is temporarily suspended, but not expelled, must be included in all AYP accountability measures for the school and district.
Annual Measurable Objectives (AMOs) (Element 3.2b)
Revision: Idaho revised its trajectory of the annual measurable objectives (AMOs) that were reset in July 2009, as follows:
Valid and reliable academic indicators (Element 7.3)
Revision: Idaho has amended its accountability workbook to clarify that it has completed the alignment studies of the Idaho Standards Achievement Tests (ISAT) and to reflect the State’s transition to a portfolio-based system in 2009-10 for its alternate assessment.