August 16, 2005
Richard H. Cate
Vermont Department of Education
120 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05620-2501
Dear Commissioner Cate:
I am writing in response to your May 31, 2005 letter in which you express interest in the interim flexibility announced by the Secretary in April 2005 regarding calculating adequate yearly progress (AYP) for the students with disabilities subgroup. Your request for this flexibility would not affect accountability determinations until Vermont's spring 2006 test administration, resulting in an adjustment to the 2006-20 school year AYP determinations.
We are pleased that you are interested in this flexibility; however, we do not yet know what flexibility will be offered next year. The Secretary expressed her willingness to provide States this interim flexibility for the 2004-05 school year while the U.S. Department of Education promulgates a regulation to permit States to develop modified achievement standards and aligned assessments for certain students with disabilities. As we move forward developing this regulation, we will know better what flexibility, if any, would be beneficial for 2005-06. Be assured you will have an opportunity to resubmit your request.
Again, thank you for the opportunity to review Vermont's request for interim flexibility. We look forward to working with you further as the department establishes a regulation regarding the development of modified achievement standards and aligned assessments for students with disabilities and any further associated flexibility. If I can be of any additional assistance to Vermont in its efforts to implement other aspects of NCLB, please do not hesitate to call.
Henry L. Johnson
cc: Governor Jim Douglas