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North Dakota withdrew its request for an ESEA waiver on Monday after months of working with the federal Department of Education on its plan.* According to North Dakota Superintendent of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler, the disagreement boiled down to how the state should set performance targets for its schools, commonly called Annual Measurable Objectives (AMOs). North Dakota wanted to set lContinue Reading »
A new study of states’ ESEA waiver plans reveals that some states are side-stepping graduation rate requirements by reporting the data, but not including it in their accountability systems.
As a result, according to the Alliance for Excellent Education, many of the ESEA waivers granted by the Department of Education contradict the 2008 graduation rate regulationContinue Reading »
Saturday marks the one-year anniversary of the Obama administration’s first 10 approvals of comprehensive NCLB waivers.* The Senate HELP Committee marked the anniversary with a hearing today on early lessons from the waivers, but one thing that deserves more attention is the process behind the waiver initiative. Congress should learn from that process—where the federal government outlines criteContinue Reading »
The mere mention of international measures of performance is rare in a NCLB waiver. Everyone knows how poorly American students stack up against their global peers on assessments like PISA, so it’s no surprise that states shy away from comparing their own student achievement against international assessments. Instead, states choose to benchmark academic progress against their own past performanContinue Reading »
The Department of Education has granted waivers of key provisions of No Child Left Behind through the end of the 2013-14 school year to 34 states and the District of Columbia. It’s a complicated policy, but, as someone who worked on this issue for the Department until recently, I think it’s worth making clear that the next president will not have a magic wand to simply wave the waivers away.Continue Reading »
The fallout from last week’s news that Washington and Wisconsin can join 24 other states with flexibility from NCLB has centered on the New York Times’ front-page coverage and whether ESEA waivers represent A) sensible relief to states from an impossible task or B) an all-out retreat from school accountability, particularly for disadvantaged and underserved students.
State education offiContinue Reading »
UPDATED JULY 6
Today, the U.S. Department of Education announced five more waiver winning states – Arkansas, Missouri, South Dakota, Utah, and Virginia - bringing the total number of states operating their own school accountability systems in lieu of NCLB to twenty four.
With nearly half of states on the waiver train, it’s a good time to pause and take stock ofContinue Reading »
We’re not all winners anymore. Last week, Iowa became the first state to be turned down by the U.S. Department of Education for an ESEA waiver. While the news is a blow for Iowans – and policymakers like Republican Gov. Terry Branstad, who supported the request – it really isn’t a surprise or a bold political statement from the Obama administration (Iowa is a swing stateContinue Reading »
As we’ve reported, 26 states and the District of Columbia submitted applications before the second round ESEA waiver deadline on February 28. (Maine and New Hampshire decided it was better to turn their homework in late, while California has decided it deserves some special treatment.) Admittedly, it’s been taking us awhile to get through the 10,000 pages that landed on the Department of EducatContinue Reading »
Two weeks ago, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce reported out two of Chairman John Kline’s ESEA reauthorization bills, the Student Success Act and the Encouraging Innovation and Effective Teaching Act, on a party-line vote, 23-16. Democrats, led by Ranking Member George Miller, offered just two (unsuccessful) amendments, bothContinue Reading »