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ERIC Number: EJ949878
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Dec-14
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0277-4232
Evaluations Key to State Chances for NCLB Waiver
Sawchuk, Stephen
Education Week, v31 n14 p1, 21-22 Dec 2011
Where their teacher-quality proposals are concerned, the fates of the 11 states that have bid for waivers of core principles of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act appear to depend largely on how the peer reviewers--and, ultimately, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan--interpret their applications. The U.S. Department of Education's criteria for teacher quality--one of four policy areas states must address in their applications--hinge on the ability of states and districts to ready new teacher-evaluation systems for statewide implementation by the end of the 2013-2014 school year. But even long-standing observers acknowledge that the Education Department's criteria for vetting the states' plans are vague in places and that it's hard to determine at this stage exactly what the peer reviewers will favor. All of which leaves the most important question in the hands of reviewers: How likely are the states' plans to come to fruition within the waiver period--and should they be granted the flexibility in the meantime? One challenge for the reviewers is that states and their districts are at widely divergent stages of developing new evaluation systems, ranging from Tennessee, which has an operational statewide teacher-evaluation system, to Kentucky, where nearly every detail of such a system remains undecided. And the stakes are different from those of the Race to the Top competition, which also put a premium on teacher evaluation: Unlike that contest, Education Department officials have stressed that they want all states to apply for--and earn--the flexibility. Some welcome a process that could help every state eventually win breathing room from the NCLB law. But others question whether political pressure will prevent a rigorous review.
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: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Kentucky; Tennessee; United States
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001; Race to the Top