Request to Amend Accountability Plan – New York- NCLB Policy Letters to States

August 14, 2007

The Honorable Richard P. Mills
New York State Education Department
111 Education Building
Albany, New York 12234

Dear Commissioner Mills:

I am writing in response to New York’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). I am pleased to fully approve New York’s amended plan, which we will post on the Department’s website. A summary of the approved amendments is enclosed with this letter. As you know, any further requests to amend New York’s accountability plan must be submitted to the Department for review and approval as required by section 1111(f)(2) of Title I.

Please also be aware that approval of New York’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.

I am confident that New York will continue to hold schools and school districts accountable for the achievement of all students. I wish you well in your school improvement efforts. If you need any additional assistance implementing the standards, assessment and accountability provisions of NCLB, please do not hesitate to contact Abigail Potts ( or Sue Rigney ( of my staff.


Kerri L. Briggs, Ph.D.


cc: Governor Eliot Spitzer
Ira Schwartz

Amendments to the New York Accountability Plan

The following is a summary of the State’s amendment requests. Please refer to the Department’s website (www.ed.gov for the complete New York accountability plan.

Annual measurable objectives (AMOs) (Element 3.2b)

Revision: New York revised its grades 3-8 English/language arts and mathematics AMOs, beginning with the assessments to be administered in the 2007-08 school year. The new AMOs are listed below:

Grade 3-8 English/ language arts 122 133 144 155 167 178 189 200
Grade 3-8 Math 86 102 119 135 152 168 184 200

Inclusion of students with disabilities in adequate yearly progress (AYP) determinations (Element 5.3)

Revision: New York will use the “proxy method” (option 1 in the Department’s guidance dated December 2005) to take advantage of the interim flexibility regarding calculating AYP for the students with disabilities subgroup (refer to: www.ed.gov New York will calculate a proxy to determine the percentage of students with disabilities that is equivalent to 2.0 percent of all students assessed. For the 2006-07 AYP determinations, this proxy will then be added to the percentage of students with disabilities in grades 3-8 who are proficient. For any school or district that did not make AYP solely due to its students with disabilities subgroup, New York will use this adjusted percentage proficient to re-examine if the school or district made AYP for the 2006-07 school year.

Please note that New York is only approved to implement this flexibility for schools with a highest grade of grade 8 or below. High schools are not eligible for this flexibility.

Other academic indicator (Elements 6.1 and 7.2)

Revision: New York will continue to use the results of its science assessment as the Other Academic Indicator for elementary and middle schools when calculating safe harbor for any student subgroup for the 2007-08 school year. The use of attendance rates as the Other Academic Indicator for elementary and middle schools at the subgroup level will be delayed until the 2008-09 school year.

Decision Letters on State Accountability Plans