Request to Amend Accountability Plan – South Dakota – NCLB Policy Letters to States

August 24, 2011

The Honorable Melody Schopp
Secretary of Education
South Dakota Department of Education
700 Governors Drive
Pierre, South Dakota 57501-2291

Dear Secretary Schopp:

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 amended. I am writing in response to South Dakota’s request to amend its state accountability plan under Title I of the ESEA. Following discussions between the U.S. Department of Education (Department) and your staff, you made changes to South Dakota’s accountability plan, which are included in the amended state accountability plan that South Dakota initially submitted to the Department on May 11, 2011, with additional revisions and clarifications provided on July 22, 2011 and August 2, 2011. I am pleased to approve South Dakota’s amended plan, which we will post on the Department’s website. A summary of South Dakota’s requested amendments is enclosed with this letter. As you know, any further requests to amend South Dakota’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 South Dakota’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 South Dakota 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, assessments, and accountability provisions of the ESEA, please do not hesitate to contact


Michael Yudin,
Acting Assistant Secretary
Office of Elementary and Secondary Education


cc: Governor Dennis Daugaard
Janet Ricketts

Amendments to South Dakota’s Accountability Plan

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

Acceptable amendments

The following amendments are aligned with the statute and regulations.

  • General clean-up (Elements 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.2, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 6.1, 7.2, 7.3, 8.1, 9.1, 9.2, 9.3, 10.2)

    Revision: South Dakota made several non-substantive changes throughout its workbook.

  • State Accountability System includes all students in the State (Element 2.1)

    Revision: For purposes of determining adequate yearly progress (AYP), South Dakota will include students who are placed by the South Dakota Department of Social Services (DSS) or the South Dakota Department of Corrections (DOC) and are in the care and custody of DSS or DOC at the State rather than the district level.

  • Accountability system establishes intermediate goals. (Element 3.2c)

    Revision: South Dakota will postpone increases in its reading intermediate goals that were scheduled for spring 2011 until spring 2012 and revise its subsequent intermediate goals and annual measurable objectives (AMOs). The revised intermediate goals and AMO’s are as follows:

    School Year

    K-8 Reading

    9-12 Reading


























*South Dakota established a new starting point for determining intermediate goals in 2009–2009 following implementation of new assessments.

Consistent with the statutory requirements in section 1111(b)(2)(E) through (H) of the ESEA, these changes will ensure that increases in South Dakota’s intermediate goals occur in not more than three years with the intermediate goals increasing in equal increments toward a goal of 100 percent proficiency in 2013–2014. The revisions reflect a trajectory that South Dakota could have proposed upon resetting its starting points in 2008–2009 and do not invalidate South Dakota’s prior intermediate goals.

  • Definition of AYP includes all the required student subgroups (Element 5.1)

    Revision: South Dakota will revise the racial and ethnic subgroups used in AYP determinations to correspond with the seven racial and ethnic categories specified in the Final Guidance on Maintaining, Collecting and Reporting Racial and Ethnic Data to the U.S. Department of Education, 72 Fed. Reg. 59266 (Oct. 19, 2007).

  • Definition for the public high school graduation rate (Element 7.1)

    Revision: South Dakota will calculate its public high school graduation rate according to the Title I four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate under 34 C.F.R. § 200.19(b)(1). South Dakota also will revise its graduation rate targets. A school or district with a grade span that includes grade 12 will be expected to meet or exceed the State’s graduation rate target of 80 percent or show progress of at least two percentage points. The 80 percent target will increase at a rate of 1.5% per year until reaching the State’s graduation rate goal of 85%.

Decision Letters on State Accountability Plans