Request to Amend Accountability Plans – Maine – NCLB Policy Letters to States

October 29, 2003

The Honorable Susan A. Gendron
Commissioner of Education
Maine Department of Education
23 State House Station
August, ME 04333-0023

Dear Commissioner Gendron:

I am writing to follow up on my letter of October 3rd, in which I approved Maine’s amendment to use a confidence interval for the ‘safe harbor’ considerations. This amendment affected the Maine state accountability plan under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB).

In that letter, I indicated that further analysis was needed regarding this particular aspect of the accountability system. This letter provides guidance on the information requested related to this issue and when that information should be provided.

Please document the number of schools and LEAs that made AYP because this procedure was applied.

  1. How many schools utilized the ‘safe harbor’ provisions to determine AYP?

    1. Of those schools, how many decreased the percent of students not proficient by 10% or more in the relevant subgroups?

    2. Of those schools, how many met the safe harbor provisions because the confidence interval was applied?

    3. Of those schools, how many did-not make safe harbor, even with the application of the confidence interval?

This information should be provided, as soon as possible, following the data analysis for the 2002-03 school year. If you have any questions about this issue, please contact Kerri Briggs at 202-205-2540 or Carlos Martinez at 202-260-2493.

The Secretary has stated repeatedly that States should be granted maximum flexibility in the implementation of NCLB provided this flexibility does not undermine the goals of NCLB. I appreciate your efforts to ensure that this balance is appropriately achieved in Maine.

Ronald J. Tomalis
Acting Assistant Secretary
Office of Elementary and Secondary Education

cc: Patrick Phillips

Enclosure: Data Tables for Safe Harbor

NOTE: Maine’s annual measurable objectives are the same for 2002-03 and 2003-04 but defined separately for elementary, middle and high schools. Please complete the following tables based on the tests administered in 2002-03.


  # schools that used safe harbor % Proficient declined & inside safe harbor CI % Proficient declined & outside safe harbor CI

Table of Contents Decision Letters on State Accountability Plans

Request to Amend Accountability Plans - Maine - NCLB Policy Letters to States