New Jersey and Delaware to be first in line for No Child Left Behind waivers

Delaware and New Jersey are expected to be among the first to receive waivers to the “No Child Left Behind” law.

The Obama Administration believes No Child Left Behind is stifling reforms, so it will give waivers to states that show a good reform plan that will do better than the existing law.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan says the goal is to stimulate innovation while policy is debated in Washington.

“We’re looking to follow states lead on the policies they are moving on anyway,” said Duncan. “First rigorous college and career standards; secondly state developed accountability systems that reward progress and turn around the lowest performing schools and third, meaningful educator evaluation systems that provide feedback, focused support and improved teaching and learning.”

States are most likely to ask relief from ensuring that all students score proficient in reading and math by 2014.

New Jersey Commissioner of Education Chris Cerf says his office is working on a waiver submission already.

“Our mission is preserve the best of NCLB while liberating our educators and our teachers from some of the flaws that are inherent in the existing order,” said Cerf.

Delaware Education Secretary Lillian Lowery says a waiver would give her flexibility while still demanding improvement.

“Because it frees our educators from unfair and outdated federal sanctions and allows us to award them opportunities to put forth progress interventions for our students to allow them to be all they can be as they grow as an individual with rigorous expectations,” said Lowery.

The waivers will be used during the current school year and will have increasing impact in subsequent years.

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