States seeking waivers under the No Child Left Behind Act are hoping to replace what is widely considered an outdated, but consistent, school accountability regime with a hodgepodge of complex school grading systems that are as diverse as the states themselves.
That’s the picture that emerged from an Education Week analysis of waiver proposals submitted last month to the U.S. Department of Education by 11 states, whose proposals offer insight into what the next generation of state-led accountability looks like.Interactive MapThe applications for federal flexibility under the NCLB law, the current version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, show 11 states aiming for vastly different student-achievement goals, with a jumble of strategies to improve low-performing schools. Even the factors that make up a school’s rating will vary greatly by state, rendering it virtually impossible to compare student performance from one state to another.
But one area most of the 11 states seem to agree on: a hallmark of the law—the emphasis on traditional subgroups of at-risk students, such as minority children, those with special needs, and English-language learners—should be scaled back....
Eleven states are seeking ﬂexibility under the No Child Left Behind Act.