11 States Seek NCLB Flexibility

After Obama announced plans to offer greater flexibility from the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) federal education mandate, 11 states have submitted to the U.S. Department of Education requests for waivers from key provisions of NCLB, says the White House.

Education News published President Obama’s full remarks on the administration’s planned attempts to solve No Child Left Behind’s issues. These include which a flexible system of waivers from NCLB requirements in exchange for a strong commitment to core reforms that boost student achievement.

11 states including Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Tennessee have initially filed requests, though many more are expected to in the next round.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan commended the states requesting waivers saying:

“We set a high bar and an aggressive deadline, but these states rose to the challenge.  Clearly, there’s tremendous urgency for reform at the local level because our economy and our future are directly tied to the quality of public education.  States and districts want flexibility from NCLB so they can make local decisions in the best interests of children—and they can’t wait any longer.”

If their plans are approved, these 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.

This flexibility package was developed with state education leaders across America under the authority of the U.S. Department of Education in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

President Obama’s Blueprint for Reform outlined many more plans which are awaiting Congressional reauthorization of the ESEA.