10 States to Receive Flexibility from No Child Left Behind Rules
(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama will announce on Thursday that 10 states will receive flexibility from the most burdensome mandates of No Child Left Behind.
In exchange for this flexibility, the states have agreed to raise standards, improve accountability and undertake essential reforms to improve teacher effectiveness.
The ten states that have been approved under the law are Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oklahoma and Tennessee.
The administration is also continuing to work closely with New Mexico, the eleventh state that requested flexibility in the first round. Twenty-eight other states, along with Puerto Rico and D.C., have indicated their intent to seek flexibility.
The decision to provide flexibility followed extensive efforts to work with Congress to rewrite No Child Left Behind. In March 2010, the Obama administration submitted a “blueprint for reform” to the Hill and has met extensively with Republican and Democratic legislators.
The current law labels too many schools as failing, dictates unworkable remedies and results in driving down standards, weakening accountability and narrowing the curriculum.
To qualify for flexibility, states must adopt and have a plan to implement college and career-ready standards. They must also create comprehensive systems of teacher and principal development, including evaluation and support that include factors beyond test scores, such as principal observation, peer review, student work, or parent and student feedback.
States receiving flexibility no longer have to meet 2014 targets set by No Child Left Behind, but they must set new performance targets for improving student achievement and closing achievement gaps. They also must have accountability systems that recognize and reward high-performing schools and those that are making significant gains, while targeting rigorous and comprehensive interventions for the lowest-performing schools.
Under the state-developed plans, all schools will develop and implement plans for improving educational outcomes for underperforming subgroups of students. State plans will maintain transparency around achievement gaps, and provide greater flexibility to schools in how they remedy those gaps. This means they can invest Title I federal dollars more flexibly rather than following strict federal mandates.
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