This morning, President Obama revealed its waiver plan for states and districts to use in order to ease No Child Left Behind (NCLB) requirements. According to the White House, states can request flexibility from specific NCLB mandates as long as they are transitioning students, teachers, and schools to a system aligned with college- and career-ready standards for all students, developing differentiated accountability systems, and undertaking reforms to support effective classroom instruction and school leadership. The flexibility package announced today was developed with input from chief state school officers from 45 states.
“To help states, districts and schools that are ready to move forward with education reform, our administration will provide flexibility from the law in exchange for a real commitment to undertake change. The purpose is not to give states and districts a reprieve from accountability, but rather to unleash energy to improve our schools at the local level,” President Obama said.
The flexibility package will begin to have an impact during the 2011-2012 school year, and will have increasing impact in subsequent years. However, this plan is intended to be a temporary fix until Congress reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
For more details on the flexibility package, see the U.S. Department’s website.