July 19, 2006 Request to Amend Accountability Plan – Washington – NCLB Policy Letters to States

July 19, 2006

Dr. Terry Bergeson
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Washington Department of Public Instruction
PO Box 47200
Olympia, Washington 98504-7200

Dear Superintendent Bergeson:

I am writing in response to Washington’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 requested changes that are aligned with NCLB are now included in an amended State accountability plan that Washington submitted to the Department on June 23, 2006. The revised and fully approved plan will be posted 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 Washington 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 Washington’s accountability plan does not constitute approval of the State’s standards and assessment system.

Please also be aware that approval of Washington’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 Washington’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 (catherine.freeman@ed.gov) or David Harmon (david.harmon@ed.gov) of my staff


Henry L. Johnson


cc: Governor Christine Gregoire
Bob Harmon

Amendments to the Washington Accountability Plan

The following is a summary of the State’s approved amendments. Please refer to the Department’s website (http://www.ed.govhttps://www2.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/stateplans03/index.html) for the complete Washington Accountability plan.

Graduation Rate (Element 7.1)

Revision: Washington clarifies the formulas used to calculate the on-time and extended graduation rates.

Incorporating Changes in Assessments into AYP (Element 9.3)

Revision: Washington establishes annual measurable objectives (AMOs) in grades 3, 5, 6, and 8. The AMOs increase in 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 to ensure that 100 percent proficiency is reached by 2014. [Please note that as Washington is delaying the use of these assessments until the 2006-07 school year, Washington must calculate adequate yearly progress (AYP) this school year with the grade span assessments based on a uniform averaging procedure, which means that AYP decisions for the 2005-06 school year must be based on an average of test results from 2005 and 2006. Further, this approved revision is not an approval for Washington to treat each grade’s test results separately when calculating AYP. Washington should refer to my letter (and Attachment B, in particular) of March 7, 2006 for additional guidance regarding these issues:  http://www.ed.govhttps://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/guid/stateletters/transitionltr.pdf.]

Incorporating Changes in Assessments into AYP (Element 9.3)

Revision: Washington requests that high school students who achieve proficiency on assessments after their first attempt be counted as proficient for AYP and be included in the minimum group size for that school year

Table of Contents Decision Letters on State Accountability Plans