Federal

State Chiefs Offer Their Prescription for Renewing NCLB

By David J. Hoff — February 02, 2007 2 min read

State officials want new powers to determine how well schools and districts are meeting the ambitious achievement targets set under the No Child Left Behind Act.

In a set of recommendations for reauthorizing the education law, released here this week, the Council of Chief State School Officers said that its members should be able to gain federal approval for innovative assessment and accountability systems that don’t follow the letter of the 5-year-old law.

The federal law should not have a “command-and-control structure” that inhibits state’s powers, said Gene Wilhoit, the executive director of the Washington-based group, which represents state superintendents and commissioners of education.

The Council of Chief State School Officers posts its recommendations for the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind.

“We’ve implemented this law, and we want it to work,” Wisconsin Superintendent of Schools Elizabeth Burmaster said at a news conference held to release the group’s NCLB proposals. “The federal law should encourage, not stifle, innovation.”

Such creative solutions would happen, Ms. Burmaster said, if the Department of Education were required to approve waivers that demonstrate that the policies would achieve the law’s basic goal that all students be proficient in reading and mathematics by the 2013-14 school year. The current law says the department may grant waivers at its discretion.

Such a change could mean a state might win approval for an accountability system that doesn’t assess students from the same battery of tests in every year from 3rd to 8th grade and once in high school, as the law now requires. If a state can prove that it can use a combination of different tests to make valid accountability decisions, the law should give the state that flexibility, said Ms. Burmaster, who is the CCSSO’s president.

The proposal would face opposition from influential supporters of the law, who say that annual testing is an important diagnostic tool and it holds schools accountable for all students. Those supporters include Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings and the chairmen of the House and Senate education committees.

But the CCSSO’s plan is similar to ideas promoted by other groups representing state officials, including the National Governors Association, the National Conference of State Legislatures, and the National Association of State Boards of Education.

“Just about every one of the [CCSSO] recommendations dovetails nicely with our position,” said David L. Shreve, the NCSL’s senior committee director for education. “I can only hope this Congress … will actually listen to the state groups who have the biggest stake in running schools in this country.”

A version of this article appeared in the February 07, 2007 edition of Education Week as State Chiefs Offer Their Prescription for Renewing NCLB

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
Law & Courts Webinar
The Future of Criminal Justice Reform: A Sphere Education Initiative Conversation
America’s criminal justice system is in crisis and calls for reform are dominating the national debate. Join Cato’s Sphere Education Initiative and Education Week for a webinar on criminal justice and policing featuring the nation’s
Content provided by Cato Institute
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
Equity, Care and Connection: New SEL Tools and Practices to Support Students and Adults
As school districts plan to welcome students back into buildings for the upcoming school year, this is the perfect time to take a hard look at both our practices and our systems to build a
Content provided by Panorama 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
Classroom Technology Webinar
Here to Stay – Pandemic Lessons for EdTech in Future Development
What technology is needed in a post pandemic district? Learn how changes in education will impact development of new technologies.
Content provided by AWS

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 Lawmakers Press CDC About Teachers' Union Influence on School Reopening Guidance
Republican senators asked CDC Director Rochelle Walensky about reports a teachers' union had input on guidance for schools on COVID-19.
3 min read
Dr. Rochelle Walensky speaks during an event in Wilmington, Del., to announce President-elect Joe Biden's health care team on Dec. 8, 2020.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, CDC director, speaks during an event in Wilmington, Del., to announce then-President-elect Joe Biden's health care team on Dec. 8, 2020.
Susan Walsh/AP
Federal Biden Taps Ex-Obama Aide Roberto Rodriguez for Key Education Department Job
Rodriguez served as a top education staffer to President Barack Obama and currently leads a teacher-advocacy organization.
3 min read
BRIC ARCHIVE
Getty
Federal Biden Pitches Plan to Expand Universal Pre-K, Free School Meal Programs, Teacher Training
The president's $1.8 trillion American Families Plan faces strong headwinds as Congress considers other costly administration proposals.
8 min read
President Joe Biden addresses Congress from the House chamber. Behind him are Vice President Kamala Harris and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
President Joe Biden addresses a joint session of Congress Wednesday night, as Vice President Kamala Harris, left, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., applaud.<br/>
Chip Somodevilla/AP
Federal Education Department Kicks Off Summer Learning Collaborative
The Summer Learning and Enrichment Collaborative will boost programs for students acutely affected by COVID-19 in 46 states.
2 min read
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, left, talks with Fort LeBoeuf Middle School teacher Laura Friedman during a discussion on safely returning to schools during the COVID-19 pandemic on March 3, 2021.
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, left, talks with Fort LeBoeuf Middle School teacher Laura Friedman during a discussion on safely returning to schools during the COVID-19 pandemic in March.
Greg Wohlford/Erie Times-News via TNS