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Press Release


CCSSO Issues Statement on President Obama’s Waiver Announcement

Contact:Melissa McGrathmelissa.mcgrath@ccsso.org202-336-7034

Washington, DC - On Friday, September 23, President Obama will release the details of the Administration's waiver package, which responds to calls from state education leaders to move beyond current No Child Left Behind (NCLB) requirements and support state efforts to prepare every child for college and career. The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) continues to advocate for Congressional action through reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), but believes that the waivers are a desperately needed step forward in transforming our education system to provide young people with the high quality education they deserve.

CCSSO Executive Director Gene Wilhoit offered the following statement:

"The one-size-fits-all approach of our current system has become a barrier to state-level progress. We believe that the best way to move forward is for Congress to reauthorize ESEA. In the absence of congressional action, this waiver package will provide states with the authority to continue leading in accountability and education reform, and we look forward to working with our counterparts at the federal level to make sure that all children graduate from high school prepared to succeed in their future endeavors.

Overall, the conditions laid out by the Administration will ensure that states are working toward rigorous yet attainable goals for student performance based on college- and career-readiness standards. Moreover, they provide states and districts with the flexibility to determine the best path forward to reach those goals. States will be able to continue working together to drive improvements in accountability, so that schools are evaluated fairly and have the information needed to ensure continuous progress and change failing schools. States will maintain authority over decision-making in the area of teacher and leader evaluations, allowing for innovation at the local level."

CCSSO announced in June that 44 states and the District of Columbia have agreed to work together to improve student achievement through the development and implementation of improved state accountability systems. CCSSO is also working with states to address priority actions that will help increase the effectiveness of teaching and leading to improve student achievement and eliminate disparities.

The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and five U.S. extra-state jurisdictions. CCSSO provides leadership, advocacy, and technical assistance on major educational issues. The Council seeks member consensus on major educational issues and expresses their views to civic and professional organizations, federal agencies, Congress, and the public.