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

The Honorable David M. Steiner
New York State Education Department
111 Education Building
Albany, New York 12234

Dear Commissioner Steiner:

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 (ESEA). Following discussions between the U.S. Department of Education (Department) and your staff, you made changes to New York’s accountability plan, which are now included in the amended state accountability plan that New York submitted to the Department on May 17, 2010. I am pleased to approve New York’s amended plan, which we will post on the Department’s website. A summary of New York’s requested 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 of the ESEA.

Please also be aware that approval of New York’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 New York 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 ( (


Thelma Meléndez de Santa Ana, Ph.D.


cc: Governor David Paterson
Ira Schwartz

Amendments to New York’s Accountability Plan

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

Including rewards and sanctions for public schools and local educational agencies in the State accountability system (Element 1.6)

Revision: New York will reference its Differentiated Accountability pilot program to indicate that it will enter schools participating in Title I programs that fail to make adequate yearly progress (AYP) for two or more years in the improvement phases as delineated in New York’s approved Differentiated Accountability plan.

Including former students with disabilities in AYP determinations for two years (Element 5.3)

Revision: In calculating the proficiency rate for AYP determinations for the students with disabilities subgroup, New York will include, for two AYP determination cycles, the scores of students who were previously identified as students with disabilities but who no longer receive special education services, as permitted by 34 C.F.R § 200.20(f)(2)(i)(B).

Including students with disabilities in the State’s definition of AYP (Element 5.3)

Revision: New York will remove reference to the two percent transition flexibility previously granted to it under 34 C.F.R. § 200.20(g). In accordance with the terms of that regulatory provision, the transition flexibility is no longer available.