Washington to apply for waiver to No Child Left Behind law
The federal law expects every child in the nation to be at grade level in math and reading by 2014. If granted a waiver, Washington state would gain more leeway in reaching the goals it set for itself.
The Associated Press
Washington education officials said Monday they have decided to request a waiver to the requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind law.
The law expects every child in the nation to be at grade level in math and reading by 2014.
If granted, the waiver would give Washington state more leeway in reaching the goals it set for itself.
Although Washington students are nearing the goal for reading, they are far from reaching their math goals.
Last week, President Obama granted waivers to 10 of the 11 states that have applied so far. Many others, like Washington, were waiting to see the results of the first applications before deciding whether to apply for a waiver.
Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn said Monday he wasn't ready to share the details of the state's waiver request, but some details have been online since mid-January.
Dorn said he would announce the state's plan Wednesday.
According to a 269-page draft proposal posted on his office's website, Washington will likely ask for 10 waivers from the federal law. They would include the following:
• Time to develop new "ambitious but achievable" learning goals for Washington students.
• Exemptions from the requirement to adopt federally approved turnaround plans for dealing with failing schools.
• Loosening of rules around how some federal school-improvement dollars can be spent, and on moving money from one program to another.
Dorn said the state may decide to apply for its own waiver or join a group of states asking for a general waiver for all.
The federal government has said states applying for waivers must meet certain requirements, including making a commitment to design, pilot and implement an evaluation system for teachers and principals based significantly on "student growth measures."
Washington does not meet that requirement, but a proposal making progress in the Legislature this session could change that.
Lawmakers on Monday were working on a compromise bill to change the way state teachers are evaluated, and improvement in student learning would be factor in teacher evaluations if a proposed compromise bill becomes law.