Friday, September 23, 2011

Major NCLB Changes Ahead

President Obama announced this afternoon that states will be able to apply for waivers to No Child Left Behind. Educators and policy makers have complained for years about the unreasonableness of certain NCLB mandates such as the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).

Instead of the sanction orientated focus of the Bush years, the new emphasis will be recognizing and rewarding successful schools while providing struggling schools with targeted support and more flexibility.

One major change is the elimination of the 2014 drop dead date to have proficiency for 100% of students. Instead, states will be able to have realistic improvement goals for students in reading/language arts and mathematics.

States and school districts will have greater flexibility on the use of federal funds, while at the same time funds to meet the needs of particular populations of students will be protected.

Under the waiver, priority schools will no longer have to choose one of the four intervention models. They can design their own improvement plan based on turnaround principles.

Teacher evaluation systems will not have to be fully implemented until 2014-15 school year. This will allow states time to develop stronger and sensible evaluation systems.

In order to qualify for a waiver, states must develop a plan to address three areas of education reform: 1. Statewide college and career ready standards and assessments for students. Delaware is ahead of most states in this area 2. Systems for differentiated recognition, accountability and support. In other words, a way to identify and provide resources for the lowest performing schools. Again, Delaware has this system operating. 3. Evaluation and support for teacher and principal effectiveness. Delaware's DPAS II fits this model.

The hard work of Delaware educators in winning the Race To The Top grant may now pay off in another way. The requirements for NCLB waiver appear to be very similar to the requirements for RTTT.

Ok readers, I hope the above article makes sense. I had to write it in a hurry, but I wanted you to know the scoop before the weekend.

1 comment:

  1. Turnaround Principles (they are delineated in the flexibility document (here: ) are almost identical to scurrilous SIG interventions.

    Beware this Trojan Horse I say.....

    quid pro quo for Criteria 5.......