Federal

More States Asking for NCLB Waivers

By Michele McNeil — August 09, 2011 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

As Congress continues to drag its feet in rewriting the No Child Left Behind Act, a growing number of states are getting in line for Education Department relief from provisions of the current law.

Michigan and Tennessee are the latest to formally seek waivers from the NCLB’s 2014 deadline for all students to be proficient in math and reading. Other states are waiting for details about U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s promised plan to create a formal waiver process from many of the requirements of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, of which NCLB is the latest version.

As that deadline for 100 percent proficiency approaches, more schools are failing to make adequate yearly progress, the main NCLB yardstick. Schools that don’t make AYP face an escalating set of sanctions, and states and districts are struggling to deal with that growing number.

While states such as Michigan and Tennessee are asking for permission to ignore parts of the law, other states, including Idaho, are just telling the department they plan to disobey it, with or without approval.

Tom Luna, Idaho’s education chief, told the department in June that he had no intention of complying with the part of the law that requires states to gradually increase proficiency targets in math and reading. In a letter to Mr. Duncan, he said that with ESEA renewal stalled, he would take matters into his own hands.

In a July 27 letter to Mr. Luna, the Education Department approved a change to Idaho’s accountability plan, letting the state keep its proficiency targets level for a third year in a row. But the department made clear that Idaho must stay on the path toward 100 percent proficiency in math and reading.

The department isn’t always so easily swayed.

In April, Montana became the first state to inform federal officials that it would not be raising its proficiency targets, which would be for a fourth consecutive year. Mr. Duncan would not grant a waiver and gave state officials until Aug. 15 to come up with a plan to comply with the law or face consequences.

South Dakota, which has also told the department it plans to freeze proficiency targets for a third straight year, had not received an official response from federal officials as of last week.

A version of this article appeared in the August 10, 2011 edition of Education Week as More States Asking for NCLB Waivers

Events

Student Well-Being K-12 Essentials Forum Social-Emotional Learning: Making It Meaningful
Join us for this event with educators and experts on the damage the pandemic did to academic and social and emotional well-being.
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
Privacy & Security Webinar
K-12 Cybersecurity in the Real World: Lessons Learned & How to Protect Your School
Gain an expert understanding of how school districts can improve their cyber resilience and get ahead of cybersecurity challenges and threats.
Content provided by Microsoft
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
Student Well-Being Webinar
Trauma-Informed Schools 101: Best Practices & Key Benefits
Learn how to develop a coordinated plan of action for addressing student trauma and
fostering supportive, healthy environments.
Content provided by Crisis Prevention Institute

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 How a Divided Congress Will Influence K-12 Education Policy
The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives education committees will have new leaders in January.
6 min read
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks Monday, June 13, 2022, during a debate with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C, Hosted by Fox News at the The Edward M. Kennedy Institute in Boston for a debate intended to prove that bipartisanship isn't dead.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks during a June debate with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C, at The Edward M. Kennedy Institute in Boston. Sanders is poised to become the chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee.
Josh Reynolds/AP
Federal What the Federal 'Don't Say Gay' Bill Actually Says
The bill would restrict federal funds for lessons on LGBTQ identities. The outcome of this week's election could revive its prospects.
4 min read
Demonstrators gather on the steps of the Florida Historic Capitol Museum in front of the Florida State Capitol on March 7, 2022, in Tallahassee, Fla. Florida House Republicans advanced a bill, dubbed by opponents as the "Don't Say Gay" bill, to forbid discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity in schools, rejecting criticism from Democrats who said the proposal demonizes LGBTQ people.
Demonstrators gather on the steps of the Florida Historic Capitol Museum in Tallahassee on March 7, 2022. Florida's "Don't Say Gay" law was a model for a federal bill introduced last month.
Wilfredo Lee/AP
Federal Fed's Education Research Board Is Back. Here's Why That Matters
Defunct for years, the National Board for Education Sciences has new members and new priorities.
2 min read
Image of a conference table.
vasabii/iStock/Getty
Federal Opinion NAEP Needs to Be Kept at Arm’s Length From Politics
It’s in all our interests to ensure NAEP releases are buffered from political considerations and walled off from political appointees.
4 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty