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ERIC Number: EJ949869
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Dec-7
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0277-4232
Waiver Plans Would Scrap Parts of NCLB
McNeil, Michele
Education Week, v31 n13 p1, 28-29 Dec 2011
States seeking waivers under the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act are hoping to replace what is widely considered an outdated, but consistent, school accountability regime with a hodgepodge of complex school grading systems that are as diverse as the states themselves.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 plans offer insight into what the next generation of state-led accountability looks like. The applications for federal flexibility under the NCLB law, the current version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), 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 would 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--would be scaled back. For all its flaws, the NCLB law brought a certain level of uniformity to school accountability. There was a single goal: to make all students proficient in math and reading by 2014. And there was a single yardstick: whether a school made adequate yearly progress (AYP). That would all disappear if the templates laid out in the 11 applications are accepted as the new norm by the U.S. Department of Education. Given that reauthorization of the ESEA continues to languish in Congress, the waivers that U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan approves could set the landscape for school accountability for years to come.
Editorial Projects in Education. 6935 Arlington Road Suite 100, Bethesda, MD 20814-5233. Tel: 800-346-1834; Tel: 301-280-3100; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Elementary and Secondary Education Act; No Child Left Behind Act 2001