Blog

Your Education Road Map

Politics K-12

Betsy DeVos. Donald Trump. The Every Student Succeeds Act. Congress. State chiefs. School spending. Elections. Education Week reporters keep watch on education policy and politics in the nation’s capital and in the states.

Education

Waiver States Can Seek a Year’s Delay in Using Tests for Teacher Evaluations

By Lauren Camera — August 21, 2014 2 min read

Washington

States operating under No Child Left Behind Act waivers can now request a delay until the 2015-16 school year in the deadline for using student test results in teacher evaluations, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said Thursday.

Duncan made his announcement at the Jefferson Academy Middle School in Washington, where he spoke to a group of teachers and principals along with Kaya Henderson, the District of Columbia’s schools chancellor.

In discussions with teachers, Duncan said he’s repeatedly heard complaints that it doesn’t make sense to hold teachers accountable during the 2014-15 transition year for new assessments aligned with the Common Core State Standards, especially when they’ve never seen the test before.

Though today’s announcement makes it official, this is something the department has been building up to for a couple of months now.

Back in May, Deborah Delisle, assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education, told chief state school officers that the department recognized that some states need to alter their proposed evaluation systems and timelines. Since then, the department has been collecting feedback from states about what additional flexibility and support it might be able to provide, while still holding states accountable for following through with their commitments.

In June, the District of Columbia school system announced it won’t use its “value added” test-score-based algorithm for measuring teacher effectiveness for the 2014-15 school year as it makes its transition to new tests aligned with the common core.

At the time, the U.S. Department of Education didn’t cheer the move, but it also didn’t say that the delay put the district’s NCLB waiver in jeopardy.

Then the department began granting waiver extensions to states that have the authority to implement teacher-evaluation systems that meet the federal parameters, but need to make changes in a few “targeted areas,” including timelines.

In June, New York was warned by the department that it could lose nearly $300 million of its Race to the Top funds if it followed through on a proposal to put off incorporating test scores from common-core-aligned exams in its teacher-evaluation system. The state also slightly changed the impact that assessments aligned to the common-core standards would have on certain teacher and principal evaluations.

But the department changed its tune a month later in a letter granting the Empire State a waiver extension. In addition to the extension, the department said New York is also on track, pending the implementation of the teacher and principal evaluations, for consideration of a longer waiver renewal period come spring of 2015

Waiver extensions for South Carolina and Delaware continued the trend of the department approving extensions for states that are still working with the Obama administration to hammer out changes to their teacher- and principal-evaluation systems.

Let us know what you think!

We’re looking for feedback on our new site to make sure we continue to provide you the best experience.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Future of Work Webinar
Digital Literacy Strategies to Promote Equity
Our new world has only increased our students’ dependence on technology. This makes digital literacy no longer a “nice to have” but a “need to have.” How do we ensure that every student can navigate
Content provided by Learning.com
Mathematics Online Summit Teaching Math in a Pandemic
Attend this online summit to ask questions about how COVID-19 has affected achievement, instruction, assessment, and engagement in math.
School & District Management Webinar Examining the Evidence: Catching Kids Up at a Distance
As districts, schools, and families navigate a new normal following the abrupt end of in-person schooling this spring, students’ learning opportunities vary enormously across the nation. Access to devices and broadband internet and a secure

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Speech Therapists
Lancaster, PA, US
Lancaster Lebanon IU 13
Elementary Teacher
Madison, Wisconsin
One City Schools
Elementary Teacher - Scholars Academy
Madison, Wisconsin
One City Schools

Read Next

Education Obituary In Memory of Michele Molnar, EdWeek Market Brief Writer and Editor
EdWeek Market Brief Associate Editor Michele Molnar, who was instrumental in launching the publication, succumbed to cancer.
5 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: December 9, 2020
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of articles from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of stories from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read