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Decision Letter on Request to Amend New Jersey Accountability Plan

November 3, 2008

The Honorable Lucille E. Davy
New Jersey Department of Education
100 River View Plaza
P.O. Box 500
Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0500

Dear Commissioner Davy:

I am writing in response to New Jersey's recent 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 approved changes are now included in an amended state accountability plan that New Jersey submitted to the Department on October 30, 2008. I am pleased to fully approve New Jersey's amended plan, which we will post on the Department's website. A summary of the two additional amendments recently submitted for the 2007-08 school year is enclosed with this letter. As you know, any further requests to amend New Jersey'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 New Jersey'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 New Jersey 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 NCLB, please do not hesitate to contact Jessica Morffi ( or Sharon Hall ( of my staff.


Kerri L. Briggs, Ph.D.


cc: Governor Jon Corzine
Barbara Gantwerk
Suzanne Osche

Amendments to New Jersey's Accountability Plan

The following is a summary of the state's amendment requests. Please refer to the Department's website ( for New Jersey's complete accountability plan.

Acceptable amendments

The following amendments are aligned with the statute and regulations:

Resetting of annual measurable objectives (AMOs) (Element 3.2)

Revision: New Jersey administered four new assessments in late April/early May of 2008, in grades 5, 6, 7 and 8 for language arts literacy and mathematics. As a result of these new assessments, New Jersey has adjusted its annual measurable objectives in both content areas, still retaining the 100 percent proficiency requirements no later than the 2013-14 school year.

Table 1 Language Arts Literacy Targets
 Grades 3-5 Grades 6-8
School YearsOriginal TargetProposed Target Original Target Proposed Target
2003-2004* 68 58 
2005-2007*75 66 

Table 2 Mathematics Targets
 Grades 3-5 Grades 6-8
School YearsOriginal TargetProposed TargetOriginal TargetProposed Target
2003-2004* 53 39 
2005-2007*62 49 

Safe Harbor (Element 3.2)

Revision: New Jersey will use a transitional measure for safe harbor to compare the 2007 assessment results to the results from its new spring 2008 assessments. New Jersey determined the score on the new test that was statistically equivalent to a proficient score in the old test with the use of a concordance table. New Jersey will use the percentage of students who scored above a proficient score on the 2007 test and the appropriate linked score on the 2008 test for the Safe Harbor analysis.

Decision Letters on State Accountability Plans

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Last Modified: 11/07/2008