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News Brief

Thursday, November 14, 2013

CCSSO Statement on Waiver Extension Announcement

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

Today the US Department of Education announced that states will have the opportunity to apply for a one-year extension for approved ESEA flexibility plans. CCSSO executive director Chris Minnich released the following statement in response to the announcement.

"We applaud Secretary Duncan's decision to provide states with the opportunity to continue to move forward with accountability systems that raise the bar beyond No Child Left Behind. We appreciate the Secretary's ongoing support for state leadership and willingness to work closely with states to determine the right thing to do for kids.

As a result of ESEA flexibility, states are making significant progress. States are better able to identify struggling schools and districts and provide the support needed to help students improve. Last year under Tennessee's waiver, for example, there was a reduction in the performance gap between economically disadvantaged and non-economically disadvantaged populations. In Massachusetts, the state is able to better incentivize student performance across the spectrum by incorporating credit for growth as part of its accountability determinations. These are the types of changes states have made that create accountability systems that are helping to improve student learning.

States also remain committed to working with Secretary Duncan on critical issues related to educators. We recognize the importance of making sure all students have access to the highest quality teachers but believe this should be addressed by working with all states rather than through ESEA flexibility.  We look forward to a discussion on this challenge in the coming months.

This is important work that helps move the country toward ensuring that all students graduate high school prepared for college and careers. This is a smart decision by Secretary Duncan."