The Washington-based Center on Education Policy has issued a new report that identifies possible trouble spots as 33 states plus the District of Columbia implement their waiver plans under the No Child Left Behind Act.
The report warns that new goals that allow states to be more realistic than the NCLB law’s original goal of 100 percent proficiency in reading and mathematics also mean there may be lower expectations for some at-risk groups of students and suggests that the new system’s complexity may “make it easier for states to mask poor academic performance.”
Also, the authors write, allowing states to combine small subgroups of students into a larger category of at-risk students may reduce the focus on the unique needs of smaller subgroups.
In the end, the report says, the new accountability systems will likely result in fewer schools being identified for interventions.
A version of this article appeared in the October 10, 2012 edition of Education Week as NCLB Waivers