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No Child Left Behind Waivers: Promising Ideas from Second Round Applications By Jeremy Ayers and Isabel Owen with Glenda Partee and Theodora Chang. Purpose and method. Purpose (“Checker’s Challenge”): identify innovation in second round waiver applications Method

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No Child Left Behind Waivers: Promising Ideas from Second Round Applications

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No child left behind waivers promising ideas from second round applications

No Child Left Behind Waivers:

Promising Ideas from Second Round Applications

By Jeremy Ayers and Isabel Owen

with Glenda Partee and Theodora Chang


Purpose and method

Purpose and method

  • Purpose (“Checker’s Challenge”): identify innovation in second round waiver applications

  • Method

    • Identify changes from current law and practice

    • Identify common themes across states

    • Identify promising or interesting ideas

    • Identify questions or concerns


No child left behind waivers promising ideas from second round applications

State of applications:

33 states approved

3 states pending

1 state rejected, 1 withdrawn

13 states not applied


Principles of esea flexibility

Principles of ESEA flexibility

  • College- and career-ready expectations for all students

  • State-developed differentiated recognition, accountability, and support

  • Supporting effective instruction and leadership

  • Reducing duplication and unnecessary burden


1 college and career ready standards

1. College- and career-ready standards

  • To receive ESEA flexibility states must—

    • adopt college- and career-ready standards in at least reading and math, and implement them by 2013-14

    • adopt and administer assessments that measure student growth

    • adopt English language proficiency standards

    • annually report college-going and credit-accumulation rates for all students and subgroups


Promising or interesting ideas

Promising or interesting ideas

  • Some states (AZ, CT, MO) would prepare all teachers to support English learners, not just ESL teachers

  • Some states (CT, LA) would streamline the state agency to focus on college and career readiness

  • Some states (ID, LA) would provide funding for students to take rigorous courses

  • Some states (SC, VA, WA) would create early warning systems to identify students at risk of dropping out

  • Some states (CT, NC) would create competency- or standards-based report cards


2 differentiated accountability

2. Differentiated accountability

  • To receive ESEA flexibility states must—

    • develop an accountability system based on at least reading and math, graduation rates, and student growth

    • set ambitious annual goals (AMOs) in at least reading and math

    • adopt and administer assessments that measure student growth in at least reading and math

    • recognize schools that make progress

    • identify the bottom 5% of low-performing schools as priority schools and effect change following federal principles

    • identify an extra 10% of schools with large achievement gaps as focus schools and work to close gaps

    • ensure improvement in all Title I schools and build capacity to improve learning in all schools


Promising or interesting ideas1

Promising or interesting ideas

  • Some states (AR, DE, IL, MD, NC, NY, RI, WA) would set ambitious new annual goals. Some (IA, NV) have unclear goals.

  • Some states would create school rating systems that align with the goals (AR, DE, NC, NY) while others would not (LA, MO, OR, NV).

  • 9 states would use letter grades or stars to rate their schools so that ratings are clear to the public.

  • Most states would increase accountability for districts.


Promising or interesting ideas2

Promising or interesting ideas

  • Many would combine student subgroups into super subgroups. Some (IA, IL, NV) would only use the super group when subgroups fall below a lower n-size.

  • States vary in how they would use subgroup performance to identify low-performing schools.

  • Many lacked detailed plans for school turnaround, but several (AR, DE, IL, LA, RI) had systemic plans that included mid-course corrections and clear supports and consequences for not making progress.

  • Most states would identify low-performing schools every 2 years, but some (MD, NC, OH, WI) would only do so every 3 or 4 years.


3 effective instruction and leadership

3. Effective instruction and leadership

  • To receive ESEA flexibility states must adopt teacher and principal evaluation systems that—

    • support continual improvement of instruction

    • use at least 3 performance levels to meaningfully differentiate performance

    • use multiple valid measures, including as a significant factor data on student growth

    • evaluate teachers and principals on a regular basis

    • provide clear, timely, useful feedback that identifies needs, guides professional development, and informs personnel decisions


Promising or interesting ideas3

Promising or interesting ideas

  • States vary widely in what measures they would use to evaluate teachers in both tested and non-tested subjects and grades.

  • Some states (AZ, DE, NC, SC) would use technology to improve evaluation and professional development.

  • A few states (OH, RI) shared detailed plans for ensuring students have equal access to effective teachers, but most did not.


Findings

Findings

  • Policy and practice have changed significantly from NCLB

  • Waivers per se did not stimulate innovation but were an opportunity to articulate a new vision

  • States proposed interesting and promising ideas

  • States lacked detail in aspects of accountability, teacher distribution, school turnaround, reducing burden, and increasing learning time

  • States are admirably using various sources of funding to implement their plans


Recommendations

Recommendations

  • Treat states as laboratories of reform that set the stage for ESEA reauthorization

  • The Department should ask for, and states should offer, more detail on state plans

  • States should learn from each other through consortia or replication

  • The Department should increase staffing and capacity to enforce and support state plans

  • States should implement plans coherently—with clear goals, mid-course corrections, and consequences for failure


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