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Document Number: 10804

The New State Achievement Gap: How Federal Waivers Could Make it Worse - Or Better - Since passage of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the achievement gap among states is growing, according to this report. The question is, how will these new state achievement gaps affect the Obama administration’s NCLB waiver program which grants exemptions from NCLB’s regulations in exchange for adopting innovative approaches to helping disadvantaged students? Taking a look at what states have promised to do in their waiver applications and how they will achieve those goals, the authors compare progress made by highest performing states with progress of the lowest. They find high performing states are implementing more robust plans, going above and beyond the federal requirements to build on existing successes, while low performing states seem to be taking the easier road, driven by the basic guidelines provided by the administration, such as signing onto the Common Core standards to meet the “college ready” requirement, but failing to benchmark their assessments against other measures of college readiness. (John Chubb and Constance Clark, Education Sector, June 2013)...

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No Child Left Behind

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