Maryland joins a list of 19 states receiving various waivers from provisions of the years-old federal education initiative known widely as “No Child Left Behind.” From coverage in the Baltimore Sun (limited free views available):
In a conference call, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said the states whose applications were strongest had three key elements: They were on track to strengthen college and career readiness programs, are focusing on teacher and principal effectiveness, and would apply strong accountability measures for their lowest-performing schools.
“States can only receive waivers if they are protecting children,” Duncan said, “and these eight states have met that bar.”
According to Maryland’s application, schools should cut their achievement gaps in half in the next six years. Schools will be measured not just on how all students perform, but also on groups of students, including minorities, special education students and those who speak English as a second language.
“Federal officials are allowing Maryland to concentrate efforts on those schools in greatest need of assistance,” Interim State Superintendent Bernard Sadusky said in a statement.
States who receive flexibility under NCLB agree to develop state-level plans to prepare all students for college and career, focus aid on the neediest students, and support effective teaching and leadership.
This item from the USDE blog details “What NCLB FLexibility Means For You.”