Obama Administration Approves More NCLB Waiver Requests

The U.S. Department of Education approved three additional waivers for No Child Left Behind this week, bringing to 37 the number of states that have been granted federal waivers since fall 2011.  Alaska, Hawaii and West Virginia are the latest states to be granted flexibility from provisions of NCLB, which has been due for reauthorization since 2007.

Eight states, plus the Bureau of Indian Education and Puerto Rico, are waiting on word whether their waiver requests will be granted. They are: Alabama, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wyoming. Another five states have not requested waivers. They include California, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota (request withdrawn), and Vermont (request withdrawn).

In a press release, Alaska Education Commissioner Mike Hanley said, “I am pleased that we have been able to remove ourselves from an accountability model that has inaccurately labeled Alaskan schools. In its place we will implement a system that will incorporate data that includes but goes beyond test scores to present a more accurate picture of the health of our schools across the state.”

“With the new system, we are more focused on college- and career-readiness, rewarding high-performing schools and customizing support to students, educators and schools with strategies proven in the Zones of School Innovation,” Hawaii’s Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi said in a separate press release.