Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Waiver Watch

The Center on Education Policy has launched an online resource to track developments related to the federal government’s decision to offer waivers to states from some No Child Left Behind requirements. The status of the waivers changes almost daily as states express interest, formally submit requests, and receive responses from the U.S. Department of Education.

CEP’s “NCLB Waiver Watch” also contains links to the sources for each update and will provide links to statements and announcements from the U.S. Department of Education and other key players. CEP researchers will do their best to update states' status daily as situations change.

As of August 16 there are 3 states that have formally applied for waivers and are awaiting a response, 1 that has been granted a waiver, 2 that have been denied waivers and 15 that have expressed interest in applying at some point in the future.

Note: Education leaders in both Montana and South Dakota issued letters to Secretary Duncan stating that they would not increase their annual measurable objectives (AMO), this year. (AMO is the yearly target for the percentage of students whose score on the state tests must be proficient or above in reading and math.) Montana State Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau received word back that because her state had already kept AMOs flat for three years, Montana would be expected to comply with NCLB requirements this year or risk losing federal Title I, Part A funding. On August 15, Secretary Duncan announced that the state would be allowed to "redraw its schedule of raising testing targets", an opportunity they had bypassed when revising academic standards in 2005. The status of South Dakota remains unclear.

Kansas asked for and was denied a waiver earlier this year, but indicated that they were interested in re-applying under the new waiver process this fall.

Utah never formally applied for a waiver, but received permission from the Education Department to use computer-adaptive growth model tests in 12 districts in place of the normal state exams used for accountability determinations.

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