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Education Department Awards More Testing, Teacher-Evaluation Flexibility

The No Child Left Behind Act waiver landscape just got more complicated, as the U.S. Department of Education announced Friday that it has awarded more flexibility in testing and teacher evaluations to five states.

The department has offered states testing flexibility—another waiver, in essence—so they can avoid double testing students. That means states won't have to offer their own state tests along with new testing-consortia field assessments during the same year. 

The department is also offering states a one-year extension, to 2015-16, for tying personnel decisions to new teacher evaluations.

Here are the latest waivers:

• Connecticut—The state got a field-testing waiver for its general-education students for 2013-14.

• Kentucky—The state got a one-year teacher-evaluation delay. (Kentucky is a Race to the Top bridesmaid state, by the way.)

• Mississippi—The state got a testing waiver to avoid double testing certain students with disabilities in 2013-14.

• South Dakota—The state got a testing waiver to avoid double testing students in 2013-14, including those with severe disabilities. 

• Vermont—Though not a waiver state, it got approval to avoid double testing of students in 2013-14, including those with severe disabilities.

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