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ESEA FLEXIBILITY WAIVER Overview of Federal Requirements August 2, 2012 Alaska Department of Education & Early Development
Why Apply for a Waiver? Under the current version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) known as NCLB: Current AMO targets are rising every year with targets for all students to be proficient in 2013-2014. The number of Alaska schools not making AYP will increase dramatically over the next two years if the targets do not change. Current NCLB targets are “all or nothing” for meeting AYP and do not recognize school or student growth or progress. NCLB requirements may create barriers to state and local implementation of reforms that could focus resources where they are needed most. 2
Key Provisions of NCLB to be Waived 1. Current timeline for all students to be proficient by 2013– 2014 2. Current school improvement levels and required consequences (school improvement, corrective action and restructuring) 3. Current requirement to use 20% of Title I-A allocation for choice/SES for schools in improvement 4. Current requirements and consequences for districts to be identified for improvement or corrective action 5. Current highly qualified teacher plan requirements (but still must meet targets for all teachers to be highly qualified) 3
Additional Provisions to be Waived 6. Allows rural districts eligible for REAP to use funds for any purpose regardless of AYP status and increases flexibility under transfer of funds provision. 7. Allows Title I schools to operate schoolwide programs with less than 40% poverty. 8. Allows school improvement funds under section 1003(a) to serve any Title I priority or focus school and SIG funds under 1003(g) to serve any Title I priority school. 4
3 Key Principles for Waivers 1. College- and Career-Ready Expectations for All Students 2. State-Developed Differentiated Recognition, Accountability, and Support 3. Supporting Effective Instruction and Leadership 5
Principle 1: College- and Career-Ready Expectations for All Students Requirements for waiver: Adopt college- and career-ready (CCR) standards in at least reading/language arts and mathematics (not required to adopt Common Core standards; state’s standards would need approval from Institutions of Higher Education that students who meet standards would not need remediation in college) Transition to and implementation of CCR standards Develop and administer statewide, aligned, high-quality assessments that measure student growth Adopt English Language Proficiency (ELP) standards for English Learners that correspond to the state’s new CCR standards and develop aligned ELP assessments 6
Principle 2 - Accountability & Support Requirements for waiver: Accountability system for all schools Provide a state developed differentiated accountability system for all schools to improve student achievement and school performance, close achievement gaps, and increase the quality of instruction for all students AMO targets Set ambitious but achievable AMO targets for the percent of students proficient in English/Language Arts and Math; report for all students and all NCLB subgroups annually Incentives and supports for all Title I schools Build state, district, and school capacity to improve student learning in all schools 7
Principle 2 – Reward, Priority & Focus Schools Reward schools: Provide incentives and recognition for high-progress and highest-performing Title I schools Priority schools: Identify at least 5% of Title I lowest- performing schools and implement interventions aligned with the turnaround principles required by US ED in the waiver package Focus schools: Identify at least 10% of Title I schools as those with the greatest achievement gaps or low graduation rates and implement interventions in those schools to close achievement gaps and raise graduation rates 8
Principle 2 - Turnaround Principles Required for 3 years in Priority schools: Ensure strong leadership by replacing the principal or demonstrate principal effectiveness; ensure effective teachers by reviewing quality of staff and retaining those determined to be effective and providing professional development; Redesign school day, week or year to provide additional time for student learning and teacher collaboration; ensure research-based and aligned instructional programs; use student data to inform instruction; establish positive school environment; and provide mechanisms for family and community engagement 9
Principle 3 – Supporting Effective Instruction and Leadership Requirements for ESEA Waiver Principle 3: Develop and adopt state guidelines for local teacher and principal evaluation and support systems Ensure districts implement teacher and principal evaluation and support systems that are consistent with state guidelines Support teacher and principal effectiveness beyond the current highly qualified teacher requirements 10
Principle 3 - Guidelines for Teacher & Principal Evaluation Systems The teacher and principal evaluation systems must: be used for continual improvement of instruction; differentiate performance with at least 3 levels; include as a significant factor data on student learning growth for all students (including English Learners and students with disabilities), and other measures of professional practice; evaluate teachers and principals on a regular basis; provide clear, timely, and useful feedback, including feedback that identifies needs and guides professional development; and be used to inform personnel decisions. 11
Timelines September 6, 2012 – Due date for submission of waiver request to US ED that would be implemented for 2013- 2014 school year based on 2013 assessment results State may request to “freeze” AMO targets at the 2010- 2011 levels for 2011-2012 tests in order to have time to prepare waiver request. State must submit a waiver and receive approval before determining AYP for 2012-2013. If not, the state would make AYP determinations based on current AMO targets for 2012-2013. 12
Peer Review Process State requests will be evaluated by expert peer reviewers in October 2012 A state will have multiple opportunities to clarify its plans for reviewers and to answer any questions reviewers may have. The US Department of Education will take into account peer reviewer evaluations and will provide feedback to a state about components of the state’s request that need additional development. States continue to work with US ED to make revisions to plan with the goal of reaching approved status. 13
FAQs What happens if the state’s waiver application is not approved? The state will continue to follow the current law as written with all NCLB requirements. AYP would be measured on the currently approved AMO targets for the 2013 tests, not the “frozen” AMO targets for 2011. All school and district improvement, corrective action, and restructuring consequences would be applied for 2013- 2014 school year. What happens if ESEA is reauthorized? The state would be required to implement the provisions of the new law at the time it takes effect. Some of the elements of the waiver provisions might be continued under the new law, and others would need to be changed. 14
Comments on Waiver Proposal Submit comments and feedback by August 21 on Alaska’s waiver proposal through the online feedback form. Link under “News & Announcements” on EED’s home page: http://education.alaska.gov http://education.alaska.gov See information about Alaska’s proposal for the waiver, and a draft copy of the proposal on the ESEA Flexibility Waiver page. http://education.alaska.gov/nclb/esea.html Participate in webinars/audio conferences to learn about the waiver proposal. See schedule on the ESEA Flexibility Waiver page. 15
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