Connecticut Finalizes NCLB Waiver Request

Feb 28, 2012

Connecticut education officials are finalizing the state’s waiver application for relief from the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Applications for the second round of waivers are due on Tuesday.

Efforts to overhaul No Child Left Behind have been stalled in Congress for a long time, so the Obama administration is allowing states to apply for waivers from certain requirements in the controversial education law. In exchange, states must spell out plans to embrace education reform. Those include adopting college and career-ready standards, better accountability and rigorous teacher and principal evaluations.

Connecticut’s draft request highlights the state’s adoption of new national academic standards, known as the Common Core, and tests designed to work with Common Core. There are descriptions of how the state supports English Language Learners and students with disabilities; and of major reform efforts underway to develop new evaluation guidelines for teachers and administrators across the state.

The U.S. Department of Education has granted waivers to 11 states so far. 

Once approved, states are freed from the requirement that all students be proficient in reading and math by 2014. That’s something critics have called unrealistic, and most states including Connecticut, are unlikely to achieve.