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Everyone Wants an NCLB Waiver Renewal

By Alyson Klein — April 02, 2015 1 min read
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It’s official! Every single state that currently has a waiver from the No Child Left Behind Act has filed for a renewal, or is about to.

States that filed by the March 31 deadline: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, DC, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

A cadre of California districts known as CORE, which has the dubious distinction of having the only waiver on high-risk status, is also applying for a renewal.

States that are still working on their applications, but will get them in soon: Alabama, Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Louisiana. Louisiana only decided for sure it was seeking an extension recently. Georgia is mulling whether to go for a one-year extension or a longer renewal.

And some of these other states’ applications could be real page-turners (you know, for waiver applications). Texas has been told by the department that it must make changes to its teacher-evaluation system in order to get its waiver renewed—but the state says it’s sticking to its guns.

And, according to a planning document, Connecticut is seeking to push back incorporating teacher evaluation into test scores until 2016-17, a year beyond where the department has allowed most states to go. Idaho, meanwhile, wants to incorporate new metrics, like social and emotional learning, into its accountability system.

And five states that were allowed to apply for a waiver under a special, expedited process and are now sitting pretty, with waiver renewals in hand: Kentucky, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Virginia.

Plus, there’s one first-time waiver applicant in the bunch: Nebraska, one of just two states that’s never filed a waiver application before. (The other? Montana.) The Cornhusker state’s teacher-evaluation system doesn’t conform to the feds’ vision, so the state may get turned down. But Nebraska officials said it was worth filing the application anyway, just to get everyone on the same page, according to this Omaha World-Herald story.