, United States Secretary of Education, former "CEO" (Superintendant) of Chicago Public Schools, announced that there will be a waiver from NCLB
for schools that apply and can prove that "adopt standards designed to prepare high school graduates for college and careers, use a 'flexible and targeted' accountability system for educators based on student growth and make 'robust use of data,' among other things."
Many school officials are wary of the strings that will inevitably accompany the waiver.
This is after Duncan predicted that by the end of this year, 82 percent of schools would not be making AYP
, or Adequate Yearly Progress - a measure of standardised test scores in American schools.
The law has been criticised for years, but reform efforts have stalled in the last few years. Details of the waiver will be released in September, but Duncan says that in the last few days, "he’s heard from around 35 to 40 of the nation’s governors, none of whom are happy with the current law."
The plan to offer states a waiver seems, in part, to be due to education officials in Montana, Idaho and North Dakota
approaching Duncan to discuss their states' inability to meet the targets set by NCLB. Frustrated with the slowness of progress on reform, Obama set a summer deadline for NCLB reform. The waiver appears to be Duncan's "Plan B"
. Prior to this announcement, Idaho and Montana asked for a deal. Idaho won "flexibility"
(but not the "waiver") in maintaining current proficiency standards for the next three years. Montana requested the same deal, only they wanted four years at current targets, but was turned down.
Tennessee, a state that Duncan acknowledges for their excellent reform efforts, plans to apply for a formal waiver while continuing their current reform. Several sources list them as one of three states that have already applied
. However, details from the DOE are scarce. Michigan has also applied
and several other states have plans to apply.
New York plans to "wait and see."
, and sources speculate that Texas is very unlikely to pursue a waiver this year.