No Child waiver draft to be released

Last modified: 8/29/2012 12:00:00 AM
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A draft copy of the state's application for a waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind law will be available tomorrow, according to a news release from the department.

Federal officials first invited states to apply for waivers in February. Thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia already received waivers. The deadline for the third round of waivers is Sept. 6.

New Hampshire officials delayed applying because some requirements of the waiver seemed to impinge on local school district control, Deputy Commission Paul Leather said.

For example, the waiver required the state to exercise more control over their lowest-performing schools in order to better achieve student growth, and to develop a teacher evaluation and effectiveness system that would be applicable to all districts.

''As we go and get deeper into it,'' Leather said last week, ''we've had the opportunity to talk to (U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan) about specific issues. Generally speaking, there is an ongoing concern that New Hampshire's unique local control character is maintained. We made a point that that was a primary point of concern and he agreed to work with us on that.''

Instead, state officials plan to develop a model for a teacher evaluation and effectiveness system that could act as a guideline, not a requirement, for school districts.

No Child Left Behind, first enacted in 2001, was due to be reauthorized and amended five years ago. It ushered in an era of increased testing and rating of schools based on student performance. The original draft of the law required that 100 percent of students in schools reach state-determined proficiency standards in reading and math by 2014.

Last year, 79 percent of New Hampshire students in grades three through eight and grade 11 reached or exceeded proficiency in reading and 67 percent reached or exceeded proficiency in math.

To request a copy of the application, contact Trisha Allen at Trisha.Allen@doe.nh.gov

(Sarah Palermo can be reached at 369-3322 or spalermo@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @SpalermoNews.)'




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