In a signal that the reauthorization – rewrite – of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) is at another standstill, the U.S. Department of Education announced it would allow a one-year renewal for the 35 states that have ESEA waivers expiring at the end of this school year.
If states choose to extend their ESEA waiver from the 2014-2015 through 2015-2016 school year, they have to let the U.S. Department of Education know by December 15th.
In 2011, the Department announced that it would allow states to waive some of ESEA’s (also known as NCLB) most controversial requirements – such as reaching 100% proficiency by 2014 if a state met certain conditions. These conditions include adopting college and career ready standards, revamping teacher evaluation systems, and creating differentiated accountability systems. To date, 41 states have received ESEA waivers, with another 4 applications pending Department approval.
In creating over 40 different accountability systems individualized to each waiver state, CEC has been closely monitoring how the subgroup of students with disabilities fares in these new systems. (see related PI stories here)
The Department’s guidance document, which outlines the conditions under which a state can apply for the one-year renewal, states that the department will conduct a data analysis to “confirm whether schools and subgroups are being properly identified and supported under the state systems.” In the future, the Department envisions renewals to be granted depending on how schools are closing achievement gaps.