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Ed. Dept. to Extend NCLB Waivers Without Considering Teacher Evaluation

Education Week (05/09/14) Klein, Alyson

In a letter to state school chiefs on May 9, the U.S. Department of Education said it would grant No Child Left Behind Act waivers to states where teacher-evaluation systems are not yet up to par. States making progress on implementing these systems would be eligible for waivers, giving them additional time to tweak and refine them. The extensions would be based on their progress on two out of three areas of waiver implementation: standards and assessments and turnarounds. However, states with laws prohibiting them from implementing systems that meet the Obama administration's parameters would not be eligible for this flexibility. Moreover, all three components of the state's waiver extension request will be reviewed at once if the state is not looking to substantially change its teacher-evaluation system. The Council of Chief State School Officers praised the decision, with Executive Director Chris Minnich stating, "They're making the right move here. I would say there's a pretty clear distinction between not doing [teacher evaluation] at all and taking more time to do it. ... At the same time, there are states that have hit their timelines, and we need to acknowledge that and reward them for doing so."
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