The U.S. Department of Education approved Idaho’s waiver application last week, bringing the list of states that have earned flexibility under the No Child Left Behind Act to 35.
Illinois’ request for flexibility on federal accountability requirements is pending. Two other states applied in the second round, with Illinois, but Iowa’s application was essentially rejected and California has submitted a request that is not in compliance with the federal rules.
Seven other states applied more recently and still await word.
Six states have not yet requested a waiver: Montana, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont (request withdrawn), and Wyoming.
As part of its waiver application, Idaho is shifting away from “adequate yearly progress,” which was the standard under the NCLB law, to a five-star rating system. It grades schools based on student growth and proficiency on state tests, graduation rates, and career- and postsecondary-readiness indicators.
A version of this article appeared in the October 24, 2012 edition of Education Week as Idaho Granted Waiver From NCLB Rules