Kansas will not be able to sidestep the requirement under the federal No Child Left Behind Act that 100 percent of students reach proficiency in reading and math by 2014, state officials have announced.
The denial of the waiver request, which came in a phone call from Deputy Assistant U.S. Secretary of Education Michael Yudin, means that schools in the state will still be required to make adequate yearly progress, or AYP, or face an escalating set of sanctions spelled out in the federal accountability law.
According to a Kansas press release, “It was the feeling of U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan that the best way to assist states in those efforts was through timely reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.” The NCLB law is the current version of the ESEA.
The 100 percent goal has been a key selling point for Mr. Duncan as he tries to get Congress to move quickly to reauthorize the ESEA. He has said that if Congress doesn’t act, up to 82 percent of schools could be labeled as failing this year under the law.
A version of this article appeared in the May 25, 2011 edition of Education Week as Kansas Rebuffed On AYP Waiver