Missouri is among the 39 states asking to be excused from the No Child Left Behind Act.
The State Board of Education will make a decision this month on whether it will request that the U.S. Department of Education let our state define its own achievement standards.
Department spokeswoman Michele Clark says ten schools have already been given waivers … Missouri is among 28 other states asking for one.
She says the current No Child Left Behind law has outlived its impact. The law requires 100 percent proficiency by 2014, and “when you label every school as failing, it’s hard to identify which schools really do need help.”
Missouri would set its own standards that are attainable, she says.
The application will continue to be revised based on statewide feedback and from other states’ applications. The State Board of Education meets Feb. 21 in Jefferson City.
An approved waiver would allow Missouri to exchange certain federal No Child Left Behind requirements for comprehensive state-developed plans designed to improve educational outcomes for all students.
The third draft — www.dese.mo.gov — is open for public review and comment, and Clark says the department is encouraging educators and the general public to provide feedback. The department expects that at least one more draft will be prepared before the application is presented to the State Board of Education at its Feb. 21 meeting.
“We are pleased to see the U.S. Department of Education moving forward in approving nearly all the states that applied in the first round,” Commissioner of Education Chris L. Nicastro says. “Our application will continue to be revised based on statewide feedback from the field and from other states’ applications, as appropriate. We are focusing on developing Missouri’s accountability system that serves to meet federal requirements.”
AUDIO: Jessica Machetta reports (1:22)
(NiCastro discusses No Child Left Behind Waiver about 5 minutes in.)