Virginia Gets First-Ever Waiver to Reverse Order of NCLB Sanctions
Four Virginia districts can provide students in low-performing schools with free tutoring before offering them the choice of switching to a higher-performing public school, under the first waiver granted by the federal government under the No Child Left Behind Act.
The “flexibility agreement” was outlined in an Aug. 25 letter from U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings to Thomas J. Jackson Jr., the president of the Virginia Board of Education. While the secretary has granted a number of states increased regulatory flexibility under the law, it is the first time that either Ms. Spellings or her predecessor, Rod Paige, has invoked section 9401 of the law, which permits the secretary to grant waivers of elements of the law itself.
The flexibility—long sought by a number of states—in essence reverses the order of the sanctions spelled out in the federal law, a reauthorization of the Elementary...
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