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Education Department to Scale Back Key Waiver-Renewal Mandates

Education Week (11/13/13) McNeil, Michele

The U.S. Department of Education is expected to back away from the waiver requirement that states must ensure low-income and minority students have equal access to effective teachers. The guidelines released in August indicated that the department would require states, by October 2015, to use teacher-evaluation data to ensure that poor and minority students were not taught by ineffective teachers at a higher rate than their peers. The department also planned to require states and districts to improve the use of federal Title II funds for professional development, with a requirement that districts spend the money on "evidence-based" programs and link them to new college- and career-ready standards. However, department officials confirm that these requirements in the waiver renewal process are being dropped. The department does, however, plan to create a 50-state strategy to address these issues and they will strengthen existing Title I and Title II laws. Waiver renewals also will only be for one year, rather two years, and states will have until the end of February -- or 60 days after they get their federal monitoring report -- to apply for a waiver extension. Council of Chief State School Officers Executive Director Chris Minnich says that the CCSSO believes firmly in the equity agenda and that its states are already working on it, but that using waivers to advance it was the wrong mechanism.
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This news brief was summarized for Chiefline, CCSSO's weekly newsletter. Click here to receive Chiefline in your inbox weekly. Newsbrief Copyright 2013 INFORMATION, INC