Today, the U.S. Department of Education announced seven additional states have been granted waivers to many of NCLB’s most contentious requirements, upping the total number of states with approved waivers to 32. The newly approved states are: Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Oregon, South Carolina, and Washington, DC.
The NCLB waivers relinquish states from meeting the 2014 proficiency deadline for all students, in addition to other flexibilities. In exchange, states had to agree to adopt college and career ready standards, assessments that measure student growth, differentiated accountability system, and – perhaps most controversial – teacher and principal evaluation systems that include student performance on assessments. Read more here.
While the majority of states have already been approved, the Department states that there are still five states that have waiver requests under review: California, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, and Nevada. However, California has estimated that it would cost the state $3.1 Billion to implement the waiver requirements and it remains to be seen how the Department will respond to its request. Additionally, while the Department still lists Iowa’s application as ‘under review’, the Hawkeye state’s application was initially denied because the IA state legislature passed a law stating that changes made to the teacher/principal evaluation system had to be approved by the state legislature. Therefore, Iowa was unable to meet the teacher/principal evaluation condition for receiving a waiver.
Other states still may apply for a NCLB waiver as the deadline for additional requests is September 6th.