Federal

California’s Hopes Dashed for NCLB Waiver

By Michele McNeil & Alyson Klein — January 08, 2013 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

California’s request for a waiver from mandates of the No Child Left Behind Act will be denied, according to state and federal officials.

The state learned of the pending denial in a phone call from U.S. Department of Education officials on Dec. 21, but the official letter still hadn’t gone out as of late last week.

This means the most populous state in the country will be stuck with a much-maligned NCLB law as it is for the foreseeable future. And fast approaching is the 2013-14 school year, when the law requires all students to be proficient in math and reading on state tests. As a result, thousands of California schools will likely fail to make adequate yearly progress, the official yardstick under the NCLB law.

California Department of Education spokesman Paul Hefner said there’s been no discussion at this point of amending its waiver request.

In a Dec. 21 letter to local superintendents, state schools chief Tom Torlakson and board of education Chairman Michael W. Kirst indicated that California would use its own performance index as “the key indicator” in determining whether schools and districts are making adequate progress.

So far, 34 states and the District of Columbia have waivers from core components of the NCLB law. The Education Department created the waiver process with the rewrite of the overarching law, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, still stalled in Congress.

California’s request was a long shot in the first place. The state tried to go its own way, essentially agreeing, at least in part, to two of the department’s three principles—common standards and a differentiated accountability system—while ignoring the third, a teacher evaluation system that takes student outcomes into account.

The federal Education Department, which would not comment on the California decision, has maintained that states could follow all of the rules to get a waiver, or follow NCLB as written.

However, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has not closed the door on a third option: creating waivers for individual districts in states that do not have a general state-level waiver. He has said that is an option he’s considering.

A version of this article appeared in the January 09, 2013 edition of Education Week as Calif. Hopes Dashed For NCLB Waiver

Events

School Climate & Safety K-12 Essentials Forum Strengthen Students’ Connections to School
Join this free event to learn how schools are creating the space for students to form strong bonds with each other and trusted adults.
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
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Creating Confident Readers: Why Differentiated Instruction is Equitable Instruction
Join us as we break down how differentiated instruction can advance your school’s literacy and equity goals.
Content provided by Lexia Learning
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
IT Infrastructure & Management Webinar
Future-Proofing Your School's Tech Ecosystem: Strategies for Asset Tracking, Sustainability, and Budget Optimization
Gain actionable insights into effective asset management, budget optimization, and sustainable IT practices.
Content provided by Follett Learning

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Federal Miguel Cardona in the Hot Seat: 4 Takeaways From a Contentious House Hearing
FAFSA, rising antisemitism, and Title IX dominated questioning at a U.S. House hearing with Education Secretary Miguel Cardona.
6 min read
Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona testifies during a House Committee on Education and Workforce hearing on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, May 7, 2024, in Washington.
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona testifies during a House Committee on Education and Workforce hearing on Capitol Hill on May 7 in Washington.
Mariam Zuhaib/AP
Federal Arming Teachers Could Cause 'Accidents and More Tragedy,' Miguel Cardona Says
"This is not in my opinion a smart option,” the education secretary said at an EdWeek event.
4 min read
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona speaks during Education Week’s 2024 Leadership Symposium at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, Va., on May 2, 2024.
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona speaks during Education Week’s 2024 Leadership Symposium at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, Va., on May 2, 2024.
Sam Mallon/Education Week
Federal Opinion Should Migrant Families Pay Tuition for Public School?
The answer must reflect an outlook that is pro-immigration, pro-compassion, and pro-law and order, writes Michael J. Petrilli.
Michael J. Petrilli
4 min read
Image of a pencil holder filled with a variety of colored pencils that match the background with international flags.
Laura Baker/Education Week via Canva
Federal New Title IX Rule Could Actually Simplify Some Things for Districts, Lawyers Say
School districts could field more harassment complaints, but they can streamline how they handle them, according to legal experts.
7 min read
Illustration of checklist.
F. Sheehan for Education Week + iStock / Getty Images Plus