Request to Amend Accountability Plan – Hawaii – NCLB Policy Letters to States

May 15, 2009

The Honorable Patricia Hamamoto
Superintendent of Education
Hawaii Department of Education
1390 Miller Street, #307
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813

Dear Superintendent Hamamoto:

On behalf of Secretary Duncan, I want to thank you for your hard work in implementing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA). As you may know, the Secretary is traveling the country and listening to representatives of states and school districts, as well as other stakeholders, to talk about the ways in which the ESEA can be improved. These conversations will inform the next reauthorization of the statute. In the meantime, we will push towards our reform goals under the authority of, and in accordance with, the existing statute and regulations.

I am writing in response to Hawaii’s request to amend its state accountability plan under Title I of the ESEA. Following discussions between the Department and your staff, you made a number of changes to Hawaii’s accountability plan, which are now included in the amended state accountability plan that Hawaii submitted to the Department on January 15, 2009. I am pleased to approve Hawaii’s amended plan, which we will post on the Department’s website. A summary of Hawaii’s requested amendments is enclosed with this letter. As you know, any further requests to amend Hawaii’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 Hawaii’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 Hawaii 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 ( of my staff.


Joseph C. Conaty

Amendments to Hawaii’s Accountability Plan

The following is a summary of Hawaii’s amendment requests. Please refer to the Department’s website ( for Hawaii’s complete accountability plan.

Acceptable amendments

The following amendments are aligned with the statute and regulations.

  • General clean-up (All elements)

  • Revision: Hawaii made non-substantive changes throughout its workbook to align the language with its current practice.

  • Full academic year definition (Elements 1.6, 2.2, and 10.1)

  • Revision: Hawaii changed its definition of a “full academic year.” Under Hawaii’s previous definition, a student had to be continuously enrolled from March 1 of year 1 to March 1 of year 2 to be enrolled for a “full academic year.” Hawaii now requires the student to be continuously enrolled from May 1 of year 1 to May 1 of year 2 in order to meet the full academic year definition.

  • Including students with disabilities in adequate yearly progress (AYP) determinations (Element 5.3)

    Revision: Hawaii revised its workbook to clarify that it will no longer include former students with disabilities in the participation rate calculations for the students with disabilities subgroup.

  • Including former limited English proficient (LEP) students in the LEP subgroup for AYP determinations (Element 5.4)

    Revision: Hawaii revised its workbook to clarify that it will no longer include former LEP students in the participation rate calculations for the LEP student subgroup.

  • Science assessment (Element 6.1)

    Revision: Hawaii clarified that, beginning in 2009–10, it will administer its science assessments in grades 4, 6, and 10.

    Please note that approval of this amendment by the Department does not constitute approval of Hawaii’s science assessments.

Decision Letters on State Accountability Plans

Request to Amend Accountability Plan - Hawaii - NCLB Policy Letters to States