July 20, 2006Request to Amend Accountability Plan – Oregon – NCLB Policy Letters to States

July 20, 2006

The Honorable Susan Castillo
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Oregon Department of Education
255 Capitol Street NE
Public Service Building
Salem, Oregon 97310

Dear Superintendent Castillo:

I am writing in response to Oregon’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, I am pleased to approve those amendments that are aligned with NCLB and included in an amended State accountability plan that Oregon submitted to the Department on July 18, 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 Oregon 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 Oregon’s accountability plan does not constitute approval of the State’s standards and assessment system.

Please also be aware that approval of Oregon’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 Oregon’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 Patrick Rooney (patrick.rooney@ed.gov) or David Harmon (david.harmon@ed.gov) of my staff.


Henry L. Johnson

cc: Governor Ted Kulongoski
Doug Kosty
Jon Bridges

Amendments to the Oregon 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 Oregon Accountability plan.

Inclusion of new assessments in AYP determinations (Elements 3.2 and 9.3)

Revision: Because Oregon averages two years of assessment data to make AYP determinations, Oregon will average the results of the 2005–06 reading and mathematics assessments at grades 3, 5, 8, and high school with the results of the 2004–05 assessments in the same grades to make AYP determinations. Beginning with AYP determinations made for the 2006–07 school year, the State will use the assessments in grades 3–8 and high school, when it has two years of data for all assessments.

Graduation Rate (Element 7.1)

Revision: Oregon clarifies that the State no longer uses a separate formula for economically disadvantaged students and that with the implementation of a student tracking system, the State will be able to calculate a 4-year cohort graduation rate following the 2006–07 school year that will be used in AYP determinations for the 2007–08 school year.

State AYP targets (Element 9.3)

Revision: Oregon will revise its State targets in 2007–08 following the first two years of administration of assessments in grades 3–8 to maintain continuity in AYP decisions. This will reflect the results of a December 2006 review of the State’s academic performance standards. The Department approves this non-substantive change to the workbook but notes that Oregon will need to submit the revised targets for review and formal approval by the Department.

Appeals of AYP determinations (Element 9.3)

Revision: Oregon clarifies the process used to conduct appeals of AYP determinations, including what constitutes a substantive appeal.

Calculation of participation rate (Element 10.1)

Revision: Oregon clarifies the process for calculating its participation rate. The State uses either one or two years of data to determine if each subgroup, school, and local educational agency (LEA) met the participation rate. In addition, the State clarifies that students not tested due to medical emergencies are excluded from the calculation of the participation rate. Oregon clarifies that students with invalid assessment scores will be counted as non-participants when calculating the participation rate.

Table of Contents Decision Letters on State Accountability Plans