A couple of months ago, President Obama agreed to offer states more flexibility from the federal mandates if states submitted a request showing their commitment to boost student achievement.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan said, “We set a high bar and an aggressive deadline, but these states rose to the challenge.”
Each state designed a plan to do the following:
- Develop rigorous accountability systems that include a focus on low-performing schools and schools with persistent achievement gaps.
- Implement college and career ready standards.
- Create better systems for developing, supporting and evaluating principals and teachers.
If their plans are approved, the U.S. Department of Education says, the 11 states will:
- Set performance targets to graduate students from high school ready for college and career rather than having to meet NCLB 2014 deadlines based on arbitrary measures of proficiency.
- Design locally tailored interventions for schools instead of one-size-fits-all remedies prescribed at the federal level.
- Be free to measure school progress using multiple measures rather than just test scores.
- Have more flexibility in how they spend Title 1 dollars.
Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey,New Mexico, Oklahoma and Tennessee all filed for the waiver.
The federal agency is expected to decide on the application in January. The next deadline for requests is in mid-February.