July 26, 2006
The Honorable Patti Harrington
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Utah State Office of Education
P.O. Box 144200
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-4200
Dear Superintendent Harrington:
I am writing in response to Utah'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 change that is aligned with NCLB is now included in an amended State accountability plan that Utah submitted to the Department on June 23, 2006. I am pleased to fully approve the amended plan, which will be posted on the Department's website. A summary of the approved amendment is enclosed with this letter.
As you know, any additional requests to amend the Utah accountability plan must be submitted to the Department for review and approval as required by section 1111(f)(2) of Title I. Please note that approval of Utah's accountability plan does not constitute approval of the State's standards and assessment system.
Please also be aware that approval of Utah'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.
NCLB has provided a vehicle for States to raise the achievement of all students and to close the achievement gap. We are seeing the results of our combined endeavor; achievement is rising throughout the nation. I appreciate Utah's efforts to raise the achievement of all students and hold all schools accountable. If you need any additional assistance to implement the standards, assessments, and accountability provisions of NCLB, please do not hesitate to contact Catherine Freeman (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Carlos Martinez (email@example.com) of my staff.
Henry L. Johnson
cc: : Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr.
Amendment to the Utah Accountability Plan
The following is a summary of the State's approved amendments. Please refer to the Department's website www.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/stateplans03/index.html) for the complete Kansas accountability plan.
Identifying districts for improvement (Element 4.1)
Revision: Utah will identify districts for improvement only when they do not make adequate yearly progress (AYP) in the same subject or other indicator across all grade spans (i.e., elementary, middle school and high school) for two consecutive years. In implementing this provision, Utah should 1) monitor districts that have not made AYP in one grade span but have not been identified for improvement to ensure they are making the necessary curricular and instructional changes to improve achievement, and 2) take steps to ensure that supplemental services are available to eligible students from a variety of providers throughout the State (including in local educational agencies (LEAs) that have not been identified for improvement but that have schools that have been in improvement for more than one year).