Waivers abandon parts of No Child Left Behind in favor of new approach

Minnesota and Indiana were among the first 11 U.S. states this fall to formally seek waivers from key provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act.

Their applications were filed seven weeks after the U.S. Department of Education announced it would provide more flexibility under the federal law.

For example, states that receive waivers will no longer have to set targets requiring all students to be proficient by 2014 and will be given more discretion over the use of federal education dollars. In exchange, states must implement federally approved plans for their K-12 education systems that include:

• college- and career-readiness standards and tests;
• evaluation systems for teachers and principals that measure effectiveness based in part on student progress;
• new accountability systems for low-performing schools and schools with persistent student achievement gaps.

According to Education Week, every Midwestern state except Nebraska has indicated that it will apply for an NCLB waiver by the spring deadline.

Article appeared in December 2011 edition of Stateline Midwest »