NCLB Waivers: More Monitoring Reports, S.C. Gets Teacher Evaluation Extension
Two more states got their progress reports from the U.S. Department of Education on how they're doing implementing their No Child Left Behind Act waivers: South Carolina and Nevada.
South Carolina was cited for minor infractions such as not including a few data points on its state and local report cards, and for omitting some students with disabilities who took alternate assessments from its school accountability system. Importantly, though not directly related, South Carolina also has won a waiver to allow an extra year of time to tie their new teacher evaluations to personnel consequences. It appears the state is the third to get this waiver; Nevada and Mississippi were announced last month as the first two. (South Carolina's extension was not announced, but a letter has appeared on its federal waiver page.)
Nevada had bigger problems. It was dinged for not doing well in transitioning teachers and students to new common standards, for not aligning the interventions for "focus" schools (those with the largest achievement gaps) to the reasons those schools are struggling. More-minor problems included that the state is not collecting and reporting required college data, and not including some data about English-learners and students with disabilities on state and local report cards.
Last month, the U.S. Department of Education released the first so-called "Part B" monitoring reports for six NCLB waiver states (with a press call). The Nevada and South Carolina reports were published online sometime between late Friday afternoon and Sunday night with no fanfare. That first round of reports found much more widespread problems with, in particular, state and district interventions in low-performing schools.