Monday, July 15, 2013
I am a couple of weeks behind on this one, but Arne Duncan granted New Hampshire's application for a No Child Left Behind waiver at the end of last month. That brings the number of states with waivers or flexibility to 39. See here for the full list on details on each.
These waivers continue to be incredibly important. While a lot of news has come out of the Senate and House over reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) during the past few weeks, much of it looks like grandstanding to me. It is not clear that the House and Senate will come anywhere close to passing legislation on which they could agree. If that is the case, the net result is that the NCLB waivers are the de facto reauthorization of ESEA, as they are setting the terms by which school districts and states must act over the coming years. The Obama administration seems perfectly content with this result. Some republicans likely are as well, as many of the waivers contain the sort of terms that the would favor in ESEA reauthorization. In short, rather than pouring over the daily and weekly updates on various ESEA bills moving forward in the House and Senate, one's time might be better spent on the Department of Education's waiver and flexibility page.