Seven more states, as well as Puerto Rico and the Bureau of Indian Education, have applied to the U.S. Department of Education for ESEA flexibility waivers, bringing the waiver applications total to 44. The latest seven to join are Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, North Dakota, and West Virginia. These new pending applications join the 11 other states who also currently have outstanding waiver applications, not yet approved by USDOE.
The ESEA flexibility waivers are the Obama Administration’s response to the stalled reauthorization of the nation’s largest piece of education legislation, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA),which was due to be reauthorized in 2007. The waiver releases states from meeting the 2014 proficiency deadlines prescribed in No Child Left Behind/ESEA. The waivers also grant flexibility in other areas for states that submit plans to adopt college and career ready standards, implement assessments that measure student growth and revise their differentiated accountability systems.
Furthermore, the flexibility waivers require states to ensure that districts use principal and teacher evaluations that include student performance data. This is an issue of particular concerns to CEC, and its members. Over the past year, CEC has been working with members and experts in the field to craft a position statement on special education teacher evaluation.