Teaching Profession

Kansas, Oregon, Washington Waivers at ‘High Risk’

By Michele McNeil — August 20, 2013 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The U.S. Department of Education is threatening to revoke No Child Left Behind Act waivers for three states at the end of the 2013-14 school year over their failure to come up with new teacher-evaluation systems tied to student growth.

Kansas, Oregon, and Washington have been placed on “high risk” status and given one more year to get their teacher-evaluation systems on track. Specifically, each of those states is struggling with incorporating student academic growth into teacher ratings.

This is the first enforcement action federal officials have taken since the initial waivers were issued early last year. Forty states and the District of Columbia have waivers from NCLB provisions, as does a group of eight California districts. (“Districts’ Leeway Shatters Mold,” this issue.)

In letters sent to the three states Aug. 15, the Education Department spelled out more conditions they must meet during the coming school year to keep their waivers. Mostly, federal officials want to see evidence that the states are trying to meet their teacher-evaluation deadlines. The ultimate penalty for each state is losing its waiver and being forced back under the NCLB law as written.

The Obama administration’s NCLB waivers—an answer to the failure of Congress to rewrite the law—require that states implement teacher-evaluation systems that incorporate student growth as a significant factor, all on an aggressive federal timeline.

States must get their systems approved by the department during the first year of their waivers. The new systems then must be implemented statewide by 2014-15 and used to inform personnel decisions in 2015-16 (or, with an additional waiver, in 2016-17).

While Washington state’s evaluation system is in state law, that law also leaves it up to individual districts to decide whether to include test scores in teacher ratings. Federal requirements don’t allow such district discretion, so the state will have to secure a change in its law. That’s not likely to be easy, given the contentiousness of teacher-evaluation debates across the country.

Still, Washington state officials say they are committed to changing the law.

A version of this article appeared in the August 21, 2013 edition of Education Week as Three Waiver States On ‘High Risk’ List


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


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
Teaching Webinar
What’s Next for Teaching and Learning? Key Trends for the New School Year
The past 18 months changed the face of education forever, leaving teachers, students, and families to adapt to unprecedented challenges in teaching and learning. As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and
Content provided by Instructure
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
How Data and Digital Curriculum Can Drive Personalized Instruction
As we return from an abnormal year, it’s an educator’s top priority to make sure the lessons learned under adversity positively impact students during the new school year. Digital curriculum has emerged from the pandemic
Content provided by Kiddom
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
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin

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

Teaching Profession We Feel Your Grief: Remembering the 1,000 Plus Educators Who've Died of COVID-19
The heartbreaking tally of lives lost to the coronavirus continues to rise and take a steep toll on school communities.
3 min read
090321 1000 Educators Lost BS
Education Week
Teaching Profession Letter to the Editor Educators Have a Responsibility to Support the Common Good
A science teacher responds to another science teacher's hesitation to take the COVID-19 vaccine.
1 min read
Teaching Profession With Vaccine Mandates on the Rise, Some Teachers May Face Discipline
With a vaccine now fully FDA-approved, more states and districts will likely require school staff get vaccinated. The logistics are tricky.
9 min read
Grace John, who works at a school in San Lorenzo, gets a COVID-19 shot at a mobile vaccination clinic run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the state in Hayward, Calif., on Feb. 19, 2021. California will become the first state in the nation to require all teachers and school staff to get vaccinated or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing. The statewide vaccine mandate for K-12 educators comes as schools return from summer break amid growing concerns of the highly contagious delta variant.
Grace John, who works at a school in San Lorenzo, gets a COVID-19 shot at a mobile vaccination clinic in Hayward, Calif. California is among those states requiring all teachers and school staff to get vaccinated or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing.
Terry Chea/AP
Teaching Profession In Their Own Words Why This Science Teacher Doesn't Want the COVID Vaccine
Contrary to public health guidance, Davis Eidahl, an Iowa high school teacher, has no plans to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
4 min read
Davis Eidahl, a science teacher at Pekin High School in Packwood, Iowa, says he doesn't want to get the COVID-19 vaccine. He thinks social distancing and occasional masking will be sufficient to keep himself and others safe.
Davis Eidahl, a science teacher at Pekin High School in Packwood, Iowa, says he doesn't want to get the COVID-19 vaccine. He thinks social distancing and occasional masking will be sufficient to keep himself and others safe.
Rachel Mummey for Education Week