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NCLB Waiver States Want Reauthorization, Sort Of

A new report out today by the Center on Education Policy shows that while states are eager for a congressional rewrite of the No Child Left Behind Act, they are very apprehensive about what it would mean for the accountability redesigns that they've put in place to get a federal waiver under the law.

Basically, states want a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act—but only if it coincides with what they are already doing, according to the report based on survey responses from 38 states.

After all, the report notes, 11 states had to change their plans—or create new ones—on teacher and principal evaluations to qualify for a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education. And 22 states had to create new accountability systems or change their current ones to comply with the waiver requirements.

Nineteen states used an open-ended portion of the survey to express concern that an ESEA reauthorization would be disruptive, cost more, and undermine states' credibility if they have to radically change course.

And besides, states (naturally) like the plans that they've handcrafted to get their waivers. Most states believe their waiver plans will improve student learning and do a better job (than NCLB) of identifying low-performing schools, the survey found.


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