Today, the U.S. Department of Education announced that five more states will be able to waive some of NCLB’s most controversial provisions – including getting all students to proficiency by 2014. These five states – Arkansas, Missouri, South Dakota, Utah, and Virginia – brings the total number of approved waiver-states to 24. The waiver applications of an additional thirteen states are still under review.
U.S. Secretary of Education stated that many of the new state-created accountability systems capture more students at risk, including low-income students, students with disabilities, and English learners, adding, "States must show they are protecting children in order to get flexibility. These states met that bar."
As the PI Blog has followed, states have been applying for waivers since last year when the Department first announced it would provide relief from certain NCLB provisions – AYP, increased funding flexibility, enforcement of highly qualified provisions – in exchange for states committing to implement teacher evaluation systems tied in part to student achievement, state adoption of college and career ready standards, and closing achievement gaps among the lowest performing schools, among other assurances.
CEC has been closely monitoring the waiver process so that high expectations and accountability for students with disabilities is upheld and reinforced through the waivers. As the waivers are implemented, CEC will provide updates on how the process is impacting students with disabilities.
Here’s a full list of states that have been granted waivers: Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and Virginia.