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From the ECS State Policy Database: No Child Left Behind--Reauthorization Issues/Waivers - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

Advancing Comprehensive Reform: Rethinking District Use of Title I Resources - Researchers looked at district-level responses to Massachusetts' February 2012 waiver from the No Child Left Behind Act, a waiver that included greater flexibility with Title I funds. Districts took the opportunity to support low-income students and turn around under-performing schools by extending instructional time through longer school days and years and summer programming. Also, they used new monies to hire data coaches to better identify low-performing students and schools or paid for teachers to learn data (Rennie Center, Winter,2013)...

Advancing Accountability for Graduation Rates - All states approved for Elementary and Secondary Education Act flexibility must use the uniform method of calculating graduation rates that increases comparability and accuracy. They must set a single graduation-rate goal, and report rates as a whole but also broken into student subgroups like English learners, minority students and students with disabilties. In Oregon, for example, half of each school's performance rating will be based on its total graduation rate and the rate of students most at risk. (U.S. Department of Education, December 2012)...

Continuing to Expose and Close Achievement Gaps - No Child Left Behind made progress by requiring states and districts to report academic achievement by subgroups so aggregate scores couldn't mask underachievement. Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) flexibility takes that further by allowing states to decide for themselves how resources can best be targeted to those most in need. Many approved states use "triggers" for early intervention. In Indiana, school performance is judged partly by subgroup performance and how subgroup achievement compares statewide.(U.S. Department of Education, December 2012)...

Protecting School and Student Accountability - Waiting for reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the latest version of which is No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the U.S. Department of Education has granted states relief from NCLB by issuing flexibility waivers. Getting a waiver from NCLB's school and student accountability rules required states to use subgroup performance data against achievement and graduation rate targets to get a better picture of how to intervene and support. Individual states are highlighted. (U.S. Department of Education, December 2012)...

Supporting Teachers, Leaders, and Local Innovation - Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) flexibility allows states to develop innovative ways to support teachers and leaders. Approved states must invest in professional development and improved evaluation systems. Wisconsin, for example, is using ESEA flexibility to create centers that will develop rich curricular resources aligned with core standards;also the centers will train teachers and other leaders in college- and career-readiness at no or low cost to districts. (U.S. Department of Education, December 2012)...

Turning Around the Lowest-Performing Schools - Under No Child Left Behind all schools labeled "failing" had to follow the same corrective rules, but ESEA flexibility allows states to craft their own interventions. States are creating tiered systems that allow the most intense interventions at the lowest-performing levels. Tennessee, for example, has grouped its lowest-performing schools into a district that will be run by the state. (U.S. Department of Education, December 2012)...

ESEA Flexibility - The U.S. Department of Education has invited each state education agency to request flexibility regarding specific requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act in exchange for rigorous, comprehensive state-developed plans to improve education outcomes for all students, close achievement gaps, increase equity, and improve the quality of instruction. This site allows viewers to get each state's request and related papers, gives an overview, and allows access to related issues. (U.S. Department of Education, September 2011)...


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