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State School Chiefs Seek NCLB Waivers

going to school

As they hurtle toward the No Child Left Behind deadline of 2014, when all students must reach proficiency in reading and math, states are pushing for waivers, flexibility – and authority to propose their own accountability systems.

Last month, the Council of Chief State School Officers announced that 41 states had pledged to work together on a new generation of accountability system that moves beyond NCLB’s pass-fail cut scores and include improvement in student learning.  The proposal offers a blueprint for changing the law in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act’s reauthorization. State chiefs also have asked to be allowed to propose their own accountability systems as an alternative if Congress does not overhaul the federal law, the New York Times reported (7/13)

Some states, including Indiana and Tennessee, have already moved to develop their own accountability systems factoring in student growth. However, they still must assess schools based on No Child Left Behind. In Tennessee, the result has been a feeling that reforms are splintered across multiple reporting structures, the New York Times report noted. In Indiana, where schools are now graded from A to F, the state superintendent of public instruction said he would like to see every school, even high-performing ones, focus on boosting achievement among the lowest 25 percent of students.

Lillian Lowery, Delaware’s secretary of education, said increased flexibility in spending federal aid would allow struggling schools and districts to try more creative approaches, such as language immersion elementary programs or summer classes in science, math and engineering. “We drill and we re-teach, but it’s more of the same,” for students, Ms. Lowery was quoted in the article. “So what can we do to hook them so they’re interested and they learn?”

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One Response to “State School Chiefs Seek NCLB Waivers”

  1. […] 07/18/11 Chief State School Officers Seek Waivers, Ability to Set Own Accountability […]

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