Where Do NCLB Waiver States Stand On Extensions?
The news that Oklahoma lost its waiver from the No Child Left Behind Act stole the spotlight last week, but there was actually another—much smaller, but still key—development: Kansas became the very first state to shed the "high risk" status label.
Like the other states that remain on high-risk status—Oregon and Arizona—Kansas had been red-flagged because of issues with its teacher-evaluation system. In the Sunflower State's case, the Obama administration was worried that Kansas hadn't piloted the system, and therefore hadn't demonstrated that growth is a significant factor in evaluations, or that there's enough differentiation among teachers.
In its extension application, Kansas decided to go with a model evaluation plan that its districts could opt to adopt—or not. Whether or not they went with the state plan, all districts must adopt a system that incorporates multiple measures. Student growth needs to be a "significant" part of the picture, but the districts themselves get to define what exactly "significant" means.
Apparently that idea was enoulgh for the state to shed its high-risk label—but the Aug. 28 letter from the U.S. Department of Education still notes that the department is still working with Kansas on its teacher- and principal-evaluation system.
Have trouble keeping track of which state is extended, which is on high-risk status, and which states have lost their waivers? We're working on a map, check it out below. Did we miss anything? Let us know, and bookmark this link—we will be constantly updating.