February 2009

To: District Superintendents, Superintendents of Schools, Charter School Administrators, and Coordinators of Title I

From: Shelia Evans-Tranumn

Subject: Approval of New York’s Differentiated Accountability Pilot Proposal

On January 8, 2009, Secretary Margaret Spellings approved New York’s participation in the United States Department of Education’s (USDE) differentiated accountability pilot. This pilot will provide New York with the opportunity to better match the system of sanctions and interventions with the academic reasons that led to the school’s identification for improvement 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). This flexibility agreement allows the New York State Education Department to do the following:

The agreement is effective for a period of four years, beginning in the 2009-2010 school year through the 2012-2013 school year.

As required by section 9401(b)(3)(A) of the ESEA, the purpose of this memo is to provide all LEAs with notice of and an opportunity to comment on this flexibility agreement. Attached for your information is a summary of the differentiated accountability plan as well as a power point presentation that outlines key features of the plan. The full plan is available at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/accountability/APA/Differentiated_Accountability/DA_home.html . Comments may be submitted via email, fax, or mail no later than February 18, 2009. Please direct comments to Maria (Parzych) Sokol at mparzych@mail.nysed.gov , 718.722.4553 or at the New York State Education Department, Office of School Improvement and Community Services, 55 Hanson Place, 4th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11217. All timely received comments will be submitted to the USDE.

During the remainder of the school year, SED staff will providing you with additional information on the pilot. We look forward to working with you on its successful implementation.