Federal Guidance Expected on Waiver Renewals

By Charles Edwards — August 08, 2013 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Federal guidance is likely to be issued by the end of the month for states to renew their waivers from provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act, the head of the U.S. Department of Education’s Student Achievement and School Accountability office told state officials at a recent conference here.

Speaking at the annual summer meeting of the National Association of State Title I Directors, held here July 30-Aug. 2, Monique Chism, the director of the achievement and accountability office, said the document was undergoing final clearance by the Office of Management and Budget. This is the last step before the department can release it to the states.

So far, 40 states and the District of Columbia have received waivers giving them relief from increasingly unworkable portions of the law, such as its lock-step school improvement process and its 2014 deadline for universal student proficiency. Of these waiver participants, 34 states and the District of Columbia were approved in the first two application rounds; their waivers expire at the end of school year 2013-14. The five states approved earlier this year in the third round—Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, New Hampshire, and West Virginia—are not yet up for renewal.

“We anticipate that submission [of renewal applications] would occur in January and March,” Ms. Chism told the Title I officials. “We are going to have two windows for that. Our intent is to do this quickly and early, so if there are any legislative changes or policy changes required, you guys have enough time to work on that.”

“We are working to make this a ‘light lift,” she added.

Monitoring Rounds

Also entering into the Education Department’s waiver renewal decisions will be the results of its first two monitoring rounds (termed “Part A” and “Part B”), she said. The Part A round examined each state’s readiness to implement its waiver plan and relied entirely on a “desk-monitoring” process involving conference calls and a review of state-submitted documents. That round has been completed. The Part B round—involving a mix of on-site and desk-monitoring—will focus on the implementation status of three specific elements of each state’s application, two chosen by the Education Department and one by the state. The department is wrapping up the pilot stage of Part B, with Colorado and Mississippi acting as pilots for on-site monitoring and Connecticut and New Jersey participating in desk-monitoring.

Ms. Chism said the department also plans to conduct “data runs” on various elements of states’ waiver plans, particularly relating to state accountability and support systems.

“We are asking you to make changes to your actual plan, so we hope that that plan is a living document that you are using in the state to help guide your efforts,” Ms. Chism said. “We worked very hard to streamline the renewal process. You will actually be updating your plan and adding some information to some of the new areas.”

So far, only California, Montana and Nebraska have chosen not to apply for NCLB law waivers, while North Dakota and Vermont withdrew their requests. The department on Aug. 6 approved a separate district-level waiver application submitted by a consortium of eight large California school districts.

A version of this article appeared in the August 21, 2013 edition of Education Week as Guidance on Waiver Renewals Expected Soon, Ed. Dept. Says


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.
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Your Questions on the Science of Reading, Answered
Dive into the Science of Reading with K-12 leaders. Discover strategies, policy insights, and more in our webinar.
Content provided by Otus
Mathematics Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Breaking the Cycle: How Districts are Turning around Dismal Math Scores
Math myth: Students just aren't good at it? Join us & learn how districts are boosting math scores.
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.
Student Achievement Webinar
How To Tackle The Biggest Hurdles To Effective Tutoring
Learn how districts overcome the three biggest challenges to implementing high-impact tutoring with fidelity: time, talent, and funding.
Content provided by Saga Education

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 Opinion 'Jargon' and 'Fads': Departing IES Chief on State of Ed. Research
Better writing, timelier publication, and more focused research centers can help improve the field, Mark Schneider says.
7 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Federal Electric School Buses Get a Boost From New State and Federal Policies
New federal standards for emissions could accelerate the push to produce buses that run on clean energy.
3 min read
Stockton Unified School District's new electric bus fleet reduces over 120,000 pounds of carbon emissions and leverages The Mobility House's smart charging and energy management system.
A new rule from the Environmental Protection Agency sets higher fuel efficiency standards for heavy-duty vehicles. By 2032, it projects, 40 percent of new medium heavy-duty vehicles, including school buses, will be electric.
Business Wire via AP
Federal What Would Happen to K-12 in a 2nd Trump Term? A Detailed Policy Agenda Offers Clues
A conservative policy agenda could offer the clearest view yet of K-12 education in a second Trump term.
8 min read
Republican presidential candidate and former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally, March 9, 2024, in Rome Ga.
Former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally, March 9, 2024, in Rome, Ga. Allies of the former president have assembled a detailed policy agenda for every corner of the federal government with the idea that it would be ready for a conservative president to use at the start of a new term next year.
Mike Stewart/AP
Federal Opinion Student Literacy Rates Are Concerning. How Can We Turn This Around?
The ranking Republican senator on the education committee wants to hear from educators and families about making improvements.
6 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty