No Child Waivers Extended to 2018
The Department of Education has released a letter stating the new guidance for securing waivers from No Child Left Behind, President George W. Bush’s education reform law, for three or even four more years. The waivers stop states from being tied to the rigorous expectations of Bush-led Adequate Yearly Progress, but in turn, each state must adhere to education reforms encouraged by the Obama administration.
The Bush-era law has been due an update since 2007. In 2012, the administration began granting waivers to state if they met certain requirement such as adopting college- and career ready standards and developing teacher and principal evaluation systems based largely on how much students learn.
Currently, 43 states and the District of Columbia have received waivers from No Child Left Behind, which allow them to forego certain accountability requirements law in exchange for implementing education reforms backed by the Obama administration.
Some education advocacy groups were pleased with the emphasis placed on ensuring states have a plan to improve student achievement for all groups of students — including students with disabilities, those from low-income homes and English language learners — and prohibiting states from giving schools high scores on state accountability reports if they have large achievement gaps.
The requirements also sparked some widespread criticism across the political spectrum.
While No Child Left Behind is a form of high standards, it needs some work to really reform. I agree that the best step for administration is to allow the waiver extension. The waivers allow President Obama and the Department of Education to have the final say in our country’s education reform.