Federal

More States Asking for NCLB Waivers

By Michele McNeil — August 09, 2011 1 min read

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

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
How Principals Can Support Student Well-Being During COVID
Join this webinar for tips on how to support and prioritize student health and wellbeing during COVID.
Content provided by Unruly Studios
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
Professional Development Webinar
Building Leadership Excellence Through Instructional Coaching
Join this webinar for a discussion on instructional coaching and ways you can link your implement or build on your program.
Content provided by Whetstone Education/SchoolMint
Teaching Webinar Tips for Better Hybrid Learning: Ask the Experts What Works
Register and ask your questions about hybrid learning to our expert panel.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

President and CEO
Alexandria, Virginia
National Association of State Boards of Education
CCLC Program Site Director
Thornton, CO, US
Adams 12 Five Star Schools
CCLC Program Site Director
Thornton, CO, US
Adams 12 Five Star Schools
Marketing Coordinator
Portland, OR, US
Northwest Evaluation Association

Read Next

Federal Explainer Miguel Cardona, U.S. Secretary of Education: Background and Achievements
Background and highlights of Miguel Cardona's tenure as the twelfth U.S. Secretary of Education.
Education Week Library
2 min read
Miguel Cardona, President-elect Joe Biden's nominee for Secretary of Education, speaks after being introduced at The Queen Theater in Wilmington, Del., on Dec. 23, 2020.
Miguel Cardona, U.S. Secretary of Education, speaks after being put forward for the position by then-President-elect Joe Biden in December 2020.
Carolyn Kaster/AP
Federal Senate Confirms Miguel Cardona as Education Secretary
The former Connecticut education commissioner got his start as an elementary school teacher and was a principal and school administrator.
2 min read
Miguel Cardona, President-elect Joe Biden's nominee for Secretary of Education, speaks after being introduced at The Queen Theater in Wilmington, Del., Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020.
Miguel Cardona was confirmed by the Senate to serve as U.S. Secretary of Education. The former Connecticut education commissioner has worked as a teacher, principal, and district administrator.
Carolyn Kaster/AP
Federal Biden Legal Team Steps Back From Trump Stance on Transgender Female Sports Participation
The Education Department's office for civil rights pulls a letter that said Connecticut's transgender-inclusive policy violates Title IX.
4 min read
Bloomfield High School transgender athlete Terry Miller, second from left, wins the final of the 55-meter dash over transgender athlete Andraya Yearwood, far left, and other runners in the Connecticut girls Class S indoor track meet at Hillhouse High School in New Haven, Conn on Feb. 7, 2019. Transgender athletes are getting an ally in the White House next week as they seek to participate as their identified gender in high school and college sports. Attorneys on both sides say they expect President-elect Joe Biden’s Department of Education will switch sides in legal battles that could go a long way in determining whether transgender athletes are treated by the sex on their birth certificates or by how they identify.
Bloomfield High School transgender athlete Terry Miller, second from left, wins over transgender athlete Andraya Yearwood, far left, and other runners in an event in New Haven, Conn. The two transgender athletes are at the center of a legal fight in Connecticut over the participation of transgender female athletes in girls' or women's sports.
Pat Eaton-Robb/AP
Federal Congress Again Tries to Pass Eagles Act, Focused on School Shootings After Parkland
A group of bipartisan Congressional lawmakers is once again trying to get a law passed aimed at preventing school violence.
Devoun Cetoute & Carli Teproff, Miami Herald
2 min read
Suzanne Devine Clark, an art teacher at Deerfield Beach Elementary School, places painted stones at a memorial outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2019 during the first anniversary of the school shooting in Parkland, Fla.
Suzanne Devine Clark, an art teacher at Deerfield Beach Elementary School, places painted stones at a memorial outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2019 during the first anniversary of the school shooting in Parkland, Fla.
Wilfredo Lee/AP