June 27, 2006
The Honorable Michael P. Flanagan
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Michigan Department of Education
608 W. Allegan Street
Lansing, MI 48909
Dear Superintendent Flanagan:
I am writing in response to Michigan'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 requested changes that are aligned with NCLB are now included in an amended State accountability plan that Michigan submitted to the Department on May 18, 2006. The changes are listed in an attachment to this letter. I am pleased to fully approve Michigan's amended accountability plan, which we will post on the Department's website.
If, over time, Michigan makes changes to the accountability plan that has been approved, Michigan 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 Michigan's accountability plan is not also an approval of Michigan's standards and assessment system.
Please also be aware that approval of Michigan'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 Michigan 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 Michigan in its efforts to implement other aspects of NCLB, please do not hesitate to call.
Henry L. Johnson
cc: Governor Jennifer M. Granholm
Amendments to Michigan's Accountability Plan
These statements are summaries of the amendments. For complete details, please refer to the Michigan accountability plan on the Department's website: www.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/stateplans03/index.html
Full Academic Year (Element 2.2)
Revision: As a result of moving from a spring test administration to a fall test administration for grades 3-8, Michigan will define their full academic year based on the two-semi-annual student count days - the fourth Wednesday in September and the second Wednesday in February. For schools and school districts, students must be enrolled for the three most recent semi-annual official count days.
Annual Determinations of AYP (Element 4.1)
Revision: To calculate AYP with multiple grade levels assessed, Michigan will implement a proficiency index to form a single AYP determination for a school. Michigan will calculate a weighted average of the proportion of students above or below the Annual Measurable Objective. A proficiency index of zero or higher indicates that the annual measurable objective has been met by the school or subgroup.
Revision: Michigan will identify districts for improvement that miss AYP for two consecutive years in the same subject across all grade spans
Assessment of students with disabilities (Element 5.3)
Revision: Michigan will use the "proxy method" (Option 1 in our guidance dated May 7, 2005) to take advantage of the Secretary's flexibility regarding modified academic achievement standards. Michigan will calculate a proxy to determine the percentage of students with disabilities that is equivalent to 2.0 percent of all students assessed. For the 2005-06 AYP determinations, this proxy will then be added to the percent of students with disabilities who are proficient. For any school or district that did not make AYP solely due to its students with disabilities subgroup, Michigan will use this adjusted percent proficient to reexamine if the school or district made AYP for the 2005-06 school year.
Graduation Rate (Element 7.1)
Revision: Michigan will continue to use the graduation rate target of 80% for the 2005-06 school year.
Changes in the Assessment System (Element 9.1)
Revision: Michigan will continue to use the Annual Measurable Objectives for the grade levels previously assessed, English/language Arts in grades 4, 7, 11 and Math in grades 4, 8, and 11. Michigan will implement new Annual Measurable Objectives for the newly assessed grade levels of 3, 5, 6, and 8 in reading and 3, 5, 6, 7 in math.