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

Special Education K-12 Essentials Forum Innovative Approaches to Special Education
Join this free virtual event to explore innovations in the evolving landscape of special education.
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
Curriculum Webinar
STEM Fusion: Empowering K-12 Education through Interdisciplinary Integration
Join our webinar to learn how integrating STEM with other subjects can revolutionize K-12 education & prepare students for the future.
Content provided by Project Lead The Way
School & District Management Webinar How Pensions Work: Why It Matters for K-12 Education
Panelists explain the fundamentals of teacher pension finances — how they are paid for, what drives their costs, and their impact on K-12 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 Classroom Tech Outpaces Research. Why That's a Problem
Experts call for better alignment between research and the classroom in Capitol Hill discussions.
4 min read
People walk outside the U.S Capitol building in Washington, June 9, 2022.
People walk outside the U.S Capitol building in Washington, June 9, 2022. Experts called for investments in education research and development at a symposium at the Dirksen Senate Office Building on June 13.
Patrick Semansky/AP
Federal Opinion Federal Education Reform Has Largely Failed. Unfortunately, We Still Need It
Neither NCLB nor ESSA have lived up to their promise, but the problems calling for national action persist.
Jack Jennings
4 min read
Red, Blue, and Purple colors over a fine line etching of the Capitol building. Republicans and Democrats, Partisan Politicians.
Douglas Rissing/iStock
Federal A More Complete Picture of Immigration's Impact on U.S. Public Schools
House Republicans say a migrant influx has caused "chaos" in K-12 schools. The reality is more complicated.
10 min read
Parents and community members rally outside P.S. 189 to protest New York City Mayor Eric Adam's plan to temporarily house immigrants in the school's gymnasium, seen in the background on May 16, 2023, in New York.
Parents and community members rally outside P.S. 189 to protest New York City Mayor Eric Adam's plan to temporarily house immigrants in the school's gymnasium, seen in the background on May 16, 2023, in New York.
John Minchillo/AP
Federal Explainer What Is Title IX? Schools, Sports, and Sex Discrimination
Title IX, the law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex, is undergoing changes. What it is, how it works, and how it's enforced.
2 min read
In this Nov. 21, 1979 file photo, Bella Abzug, left, and Patsy Mink of Women USA sit next to Gloria Steinem as she speaks in Washington where they warned presidential candidates that promises for women's rights will not be enough to get their support in the next election.
In this Nov. 21, 1979, photo, Bella Abzug, left, and Patsy Mink of Women USA sit next to Gloria Steinem as she speaks in Washington at an event where they warned presidential candidates that promises for women's rights will not be enough to win their support in the next election.
Harvey Georges/AP