Kentucky ESEA Flexibility Amendment

Date: September 28, 2012

Honorable Terry Holliday
Commissioner of Education
State Department of Education
500 Mero Street
Frankfort, KY 40601

Dear Commissioner Holliday:

I am writing in response to the Kentucky Department of Education’s (KDOE’s) request to amend its approved ESEA flexibility request. Following discussions between the U.S. Department of Education (Department) and your staff regarding the proposed revisions to Kentucky’s approved request, the Department has determined that the revised request continues to be consistent with principles of ESEA flexibility. For this reason, I am approving KDOE’s amended request, which we will post on the Department’s website. A summary of KDOE’s requested amendments is enclosed with this letter. As you know, any further requests to amend KDOE’s ESEA flexibility plan must be submitted to the Department for review and approval.

KDOE continues to have an affirmative responsibility to ensure that it and its districts are in compliance with Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, and age in their implementation of ESEA flexibility as well as their implementation of all other Federal education programs. These laws include 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, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and requirements under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

I am confident that KDOE will continue to implement the reforms it proposed under its approved ESEA flexibility request and advance its efforts to hold schools and school districts accountable for the achievement of all students. If you have any questions regarding the implementation of your ESEA flexibility request, please do not hesitate to contact Victoria Hammer of my staff at Victoria.Hammer@ed.gov.

Sincerely,


/s/

Deborah S. Delisle


Enclosure
cc: Governor Steve Beshear
Mary Ann Miller, Advisor


Amendment to the Kentucky Department of Education’s Approved ESEA Flexibility Request

The following is a summary of the Kentucky Department of Education’s (KDOE’s) amendment request. The Department is approving the following amendment because Kentucky’s ESEA flexibility request, as amended, continues to be aligned with the principles of ESEA flexibility. Please refer to the Department’s website (www.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/stateplans03/index.html) for Kentucky’s original and amended ESEA flexibility requests.

  • Develop and Implement a State-Based System of Differentiated Recognition, Accountability, and Support (Element 2.A)
  • Revision: KDOE will integrate its new teacher and leader evaluation system indicators into its new accountability system in 2014-2015.

  • Develop and Implement a State-Based System of Differentiated Recognition, Accountability, and Support (Element 2.A)
  • Reward Schools (Element 2.C)
  • Build SEA, LEA, and School Capacity to Improve Student Learning (Element 2.G)
  • Revision: Kentucky will revise the name of regulation 703 KAR 5:222 to 703 KAR 5:225 each time it appears throughout the request.

  • Develop and Implement a State-Based System of Differentiated Recognition, Accountability, and Support (Element 2.A)
  • Priority Schools (Element 2.D)
  • Incentives and Support for Other Title I Schools (Element 2.F)
  • Building SEA, LEA, and School Capacity to Improve Student Learning (2.G)
  • Revision: Kentucky will replace all references to the “Leadership Assessment” with “formal review process.”

  • Set Ambitious But Achievable Annual Measurable Objectives (Element 2.B)
  • Revision: Kentucky will indicate that each school that meets its overall index AMO will be labeled as progressing, in addition to being categorized based on their percentile rankings.

  • Priority Schools (Element 2.D)
  • Revision: Kentucky will require schools and districts that continue to be among the lowest performing schools and districts in the State for two consecutive years to revise their Comprehensive School or District Improvement Plans and post the revised plans on their websites. If a school or district continues to be among the lowest performing schools or districts for a third consecutive year, the school or district must again revise its Comprehensive School or District Improvement Plan, submit the plan for review and approval by the KDOE, and post the revised plans on its website.

  • Focus Schools (Element 2.E)
  • Revisions: Kentucky will remove the criterion that requires that a school miss its overall index AMO in order to be identified as a focus school.

    Kentucky will require schools and districts that continue to be among the schools and districts with the lowest performing subgroups or the greatest achievement gaps in the State for three consecutive years to revise their Comprehensive School or District Improvement Plans and post the revised plans on their websites. If a school or district continues to be among the schools or districts with lowest performing subgroups or the greatest achievement gaps in the State for a fourth consecutive year, the school or district must again revise its Comprehensive School or District Improvement Plan, submit the plan for review and approval by the KDOE, and post the revised plan on its website.

    Kentucky will require a school to revise its Comprehensive School Improvement Plan if it continues to have significant achievement gaps, even if it is identified as a high progress school.

    Kentucky will require focus schools that remain in that category of schools for three consecutive years to revise their Comprehensive School Improvement Plans consistent with the requirements specified in Section 9 of 703 KAR 5:225.

Technical Changes

  • Provide Incentives and Support for Other Title I Schools (Element 2.F)
  • Kentucky consolidated the nine Standards and Indicators for School Improvement into five indicators and revised text accordingly.

  • Build SEA, LEA, and School Capacity to Improve Student Learning (Element 2.G)
  • Kentucky removed a reference to approving School Improvement Grant applications for the Priority schools identified in its approved flexibility request, as such applications have already been approved.

  • Appendix
  • Kentucky revised the white paper on its accountability system to reflect 703 KAR 5:225 and the language in its approved flexibility request.


 
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Last Modified: 02/01/2013