May 25, 2007
The Honorable Keith Rheault
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Nevada Department of Education
700 East 5th Street
Carson City, Nevada 89701-5096
Dear Superintendent Rheault:
I am writing in response to Nevada'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 are now included in an amended State accountability plan that Nevada submitted to the Department on May 22, 2007. I am pleased to fully approve Nevada's amended plan, which we will post on the Department's website. A summary of the approved amendments is enclosed with this letter. As you know, any further requests to amend the Nevada accountability plan must be submitted to the Department for review and approval as required by section 1111(f)(2) of Title I.
Please also be aware that approval of Nevada'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 Nevada 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 Jeff Johnson (Jeff.Johnson@ed.gov) or Sue Rigney (Sue.Rigney@ed.gov) of my staff.
Kerri L. Briggs, Ph.D.
Acting Assistant Secretary
cc: Governor Jim Gibbons
Paul La Marca
Amendments to the Nevada Accountability Plan
The following is a summary of the State's amendment request. Please refer to the Department's website (www.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/stateplans03/index.html) for the complete Nevada accountability plan.
The following amendments are aligned with the statute and regulations.
Including students with disabilities in adequate yearly progress (Element 5.3)
Revision: Nevada will use the "proxy method" (option 1 in our guidance dated December 2005) to take advantage of the interim flexibility regarding calculating adequate yearly progress (AYP) for the students with disabilities subgroup (refer to: www.ed.gov/policy/elsec/guid/secletter/070207.html). Nevada will calculate a proxy to determine the percentage of students with disabilities that is equivalent to 2.0 percent of all students assessed. For this year only, this proxy will then be added to the percentage 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, Nevada will use this adjusted percent proficient to re-examine if the school or district made AYP for the 2006-07 school year.
Including Limited English Proficient (LEP) students (Element 5.4)
Revision: Nevada clarified that school districts may not administer modified content assessments for LEP students who are in their first year of enrollment in a school in the United Sates. These students will participate in the State assessments. The Department's September 2006 regulations permit newly arrived LEP students to be exempted from the State's reading/language arts assessment for one administration provided they take the ELP assessment. These student's results on the reading/language arts (if taken) and mathematics assessments are not required to be included in the school's and districts AYP determinations.