Zais Submits Request for NCLB Waiver
South Carolina among 26 states and the District of Columbia to request flexibility.
South Carolina is among 26 states plus the District of Columbia to apply for waivers under No Child Left Behind.
State Superintendent of Education Mick Zais submitted the request Tuseday for flexibility from certain provisions of NCLB, which will allow the state to be free from some federal requirements in exchange for adopting a comprehensive reform plan that aims to improve the state's system of accountability.
The waivers provide some relief from Adequate Yearly Progress or AYP, the yearly benchmarks used to document school improvement and progress toward the goal of getting schools to 100 percent proficient by the 2013-2014 school year.
Read the request South Carolina submitted to the U.S. Department of Education here.
“This opportunity to request flexibility from parts of No Child Left Behind is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform education in South Carolina," Zais said in a release from the State Department of Education. "Students, parents, and the public will know how schools are performing in a clear and easily understood system of letter grades."
"Teachers and principals will be fairly evaluated using student outcomes as a component, so they can become the most effective educators possible. In cooperation with Governor Haley, the General Assembly, and the State Board of Education, burdensome statutes can be repealed and regulations reduced that stifle local control.”
Zais said "every student deserves a personalized and customized education" and that the waiver request was the "first big step towards that goal."
Some key components of the request include:
- A new system of federal accountability that awards letter grades to schools and school districts based upon student achievement in English-language Arts, mathematics, social studies, science, and high school graduation rates.
- Increases transparency of student achievement by student subgroups.
- Eliminates the all-or-nothing approach of Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) and gives schools and school districts credit for progress and student growth.
- Establishes a new educator evaluation system for full implementation in 2014-2015 that incorporates measures of student growth and student achievement as a component.
Other states applying for the waiver include: Arkansas, Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia.
Eleven states have already been approved for the waiver since the Obama Administration announced the flexibility waiver in September 2011. Those states were in the first round that was announced in November.
Those states applying in this second round of waivers will be notified in the spring if the request was approved.
No Child Left Behind is the common name for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.