Missouri citizens with an interest in the No Child Left Behind Act have until January 5 to comment on a draft flexibility waiver request.
Most agree with the intent of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, which is to narrow achievement gaps between advantaged and disadvantaged public school students. However, the goal of 100 percent proficiency on state standardized tests by 2014 appears to be unrealistic.
Because Congress is overdue on reauthorizing NCLB, U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan has said states may apply for waivers. The application deadline Missouri is targeting is February 21.
States applying for waivers must devise an alternate way for schools to demonstrate student academic progress.
Information about the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) draft NCLB flexibility request is available online. According to Michele Clark, DESE’s Communications Coordinator, the federal government requires state waiver requests to meet three main criteria:
- College- and career-ready expectations for all students
- State-developed differentiated recognition, accountability and support
- Support for effective instruction and leadership.
According to DESE Assistant Commissioner Margie Vandeven, the department will collect all feedback submitted by the deadline, make any necessary revisions and submit the revised NCLB flexibility waiver to the Missouri State Board of Education at their monthly meeting Tuesday, Jan. 17.
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