Mass. Among States Looking to Develop Assessment/Accountability Systems to Boost Education

Deltek Principal Analyst Brian Coyle reports.

Earlier this year, the Obama Administration began an effort to offer more flexibility from federal education mandates in exchange for a commitment from various states to adopt reforms that would boost their overall student achievement.
After the announcement, 11 states formally submitted requests to the U.S. Department of Education for waivers from key provisions related to No Child Left Behind (NCLB), with numerous other states indicating they plan to apply for waivers at a later time next year. The 11 states which applied for waivers are Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Tennessee.
In exchange for receiving waivers, these states must detail plans for meeting several goals, including developing academic standards that prepare students for college or a trade; creating statewide measures of student performance and plans for reforming schools that don’t meet requirements; and developing teacher and administrator evaluation systems tied to student performance.
Over the past weeks, Deltek has focused on a few of the states which have submitted initial NCLB waiver requests, and this week turns the spotlight on the state of Massachusetts. In its request, Massachusetts indicated the waiver opportunity will provide educators with flexibility regarding specific requirements of NCLB in exchange for rigorous and comprehensive state-developed plans designed to improve educational outcomes for all students, close achievement gaps, increase equity, and improve the quality of instruction.
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