Education reforms are quickly taking hold in most states. Whether it is the implementation of the common core standards, new teacher evaluation systems, new assessments, growth of charter schools, or the many other new initiatives underway -- states and school districts are under pressure to make major changes... and quickly!
Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Education acknowledged the challenge of implementing many reforms simultaneously by allowing some states to now opt to apply for two additional waivers; the first would allow states to postpone the implementation of teacher evaluation systems that link teachers to student performance until the 2016-2017 school year. This extension would enable states to postpone personnel consequences for teachers and principals tied to the new assessments for up to one year.
The second waiver would allow states that will be piloting the new assessments to provide only one end-of-year test to students. This waiver seeks to address the concern of "double testing" for some students who would take both the pilot assessment and their current end-of-year state test. States that apply for this waiver would be able to choose which end-of -year assessment students would take.
Only the 34 states that received an ESEA waiver prior to 2013 would be eligible to apply for either or both of these waivers.
CEC appreciates the Department's efforts to ensure that students are not asked to participate in "double testing" and that educator evaluation systems are developed and implemented in a thoughtful, evidence-based manner Read CEC's position on special education teacher evaluation. CEC members from across the nation have shared their concerns about the pace at which some reforms are being implemented and the need to balance the urgency to move quickly with the importance of getting it right!