Breaking News: Pennsylvania receives a waiver on No Child Left Behind requirements

Partners Post August 2013

On August 20, federal education officials approved a waiver which will allow Pennsylvania to use an alternate measure of student performance to meet No Child Left Behind (NCLB) accountability reporting requirements.

The PA Dept. of Education plans to develop a new rating system that incorporates multiple measures of student progress.

Pennsylvania is the 41st state to receive a NCLB waiver.

This is long-awaited news for educators and parents who know that a single standardized test doesn't tell the whole story of a student's progress. Without the waiver, schools would have been required to ensure all students achieve 100 percent proficiency on the PSSA next year.

Watch the Partners website for information on the new alternate measures. We will share details as they become available. 

Why do states need waivers?
Under NCLB, states that receive federal education money are required to measure student proficiency in math and reading and science and to report in broad categories how well students do on those measures.  

Schools and districts that do not meet preset performance levels of Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) are required to take steps to improve their performance and are ultimately subject to “restart” or “closure” if they do not improve enough.  

Under this system, performance is measured for the school and district as a whole as well as for various subgroups of students within the school and district. Performance levels under NCLB progressively increased to that by 2014, all students in all schools are required to be proficient in math and reading if the school is to avoid sanctions.  

NCLB should have been reauthorized by Congress before this happened. Since Congress has not acted, the Obama administration offered “waivers” to some of the NCLB requirements to states that committed to implement specific education reforms. 








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