NCLB Waiver-Renewal Process Turns Up Heat on States
Fresh federal strings attached to renewal of NCLB waivers
Two years after offering states waivers under the No Child Left Behind Act , the U.S. Department of Education is expecting them to up the ante on teacher quality if they want another two years of flexibility.
Barring a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the official name for the federal school accountability law that is languishing in Congress, this waiver-renewal process may mark the last opportunity for the Obama administration to put its stamp on the ESEA and shape a future law. All but a handful of states are operating with sweeping flexibility to chart their own school accountability course.
Response to the new federal guidance , issued Aug. 28, has been all over the map. Civil rights groups are pleased that the department is trying to beef up subgroup accountability in a second round of federal review but argue that those steps didn't go far enough. Some members of Congress opposed to even more requirements being attached to the waivers are reaffirming their commitment to rewriting the NCLB law. And many education policy experts wonder just how tough the Education Department will get with states...
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