Decision Letter on Request to Amend North Dakota State Accountability Plan

June 9, 2010

The Honorable Wayne G. Sanstead
State Superintendent
North Dakota Department of Public Instruction
600 East Boulevard Avenue
Bismark, North Dakota 58505-0440

Dear Superintendent Sanstead:

I am writing in response to North Dakota’s request to amend its state accountability plan under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Following discussions between the Department and your staff, you made changes to North Dakota’s accountability plan, which are now included in the amended state accountability plan that North Dakota submitted to the Department on February 15, 2010. I am pleased to approve North Dakota’s amended plan, which we will post on the Department’s website. A summary of North Dakota’s requested amendments is enclosed with this letter. As you know, any further requests to amend North Dakota’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 North Dakota’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 North Dakota 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 the ESEA, please do not hesitate to contact ( or (


Thelma Meléndez de Santa Ana, Ph.D.


cc: Governor John Hoeven
Greg Gallagher

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Amendments to North Dakota’s Accountability Plan

The following is a summary of North Dakota’s amendment requests. Please refer to the Department’s website (http://www.ed.gov for North Dakota’s complete accountability plan.

Including students with disabilities in the state’s definition of adequate yearly progress (AYP) (Element 5.3)

Revision: North Dakota will continue to include results from its alternate assessment based on modified academic achievement standards (AAMAAS) for AYP determinations based on 2009–10 assessment results.

Change requiring no edits to North Dakota’s accountability workbook (related to identifying major racial and ethnic subgroups in AYP determinations in Elements 5.1 and 5.2)

Revision: North Dakota will no longer report the “Other” ethnic subgroup, which it did voluntarily on previous AYP annual reports (i.e., the state’s report card).

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Approved State Accountability Plans