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Nevada Hits NCLB Waiver Jackpot


Nevada becomes the 33rd state to win a waiver under No Child Left Behind, the U.S. Department of Education announced today.

With the addition of Nevada, the number of additional students now covered under new state accountability systems (versus under NCLB) in these 33 states (plus the District of Columbia) has topped 1 million, according to the department.

UPDATED (4:20 P.M.): Nevada won a one-year conditional waiver and can extend it another year once state officials finalize their school-rating system to the federal department's satisfaction, according to a letter from Education Secretary Arne Duncan. For a summary of what Nevada's new accountability system will look like, check out this federal cheat sheet.

Three other states are still waiting for word on their applications: California (which doesn't like the federal rules for waivers and is attempting a Do It Yourself model), Idaho (which is sitting pretty since gaining approval to freeze its annual measurable objectives), and Illinois. Iowa's initial request has been turned down.

Thirteen states have not asked for this flexibility under NCLB, including two with sizable student populations: Pennsylvania and Texas.

We're still waiting for details on what Nevada had to change in its application to get approval. But one thing could have been its student-achievement goals, and how they align to a new school-rating system, which baffled analysts with the Center for American Progress. CAP's recent report evaluating the second-round applications raised red flags about this part of Nevada's application.

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