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New York gets more flexibility from feds on No Child Left Behind

New York will have more flexibility with its education policies following a No Child Left Behind waiver issued for the state today by the U.S. Department of Education.

State officials were trumpeting the flexibility as a boon to efforts at closing the achievement gap and accelerating the implementation of the state Board of Regents' education reform plan.

“The waiver lets New York move away from NCLB requirements that were unproductive or unrealistic,” state Education Department Commissioner John King said in a statement. “We can evaluate schools in terms of both student growth and proficiency and recognize schools in which students are making good progress toward meeting standards of college and career readiness.”

The benefits of the waiver include the designation of "focus" school districts that will be targeted for improvements, flexibility for districts to use its resources and reforms the measurement standards on state assessments of English language arts and math.

Nineteen states have been approved for waivers, and 17 are still under consideration. Waivers are granted if states submit plans to prepare all students for college, focus their aid on the neediest students and support "effective teaching and leadership."
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a statement that the waiver's provide relief from the one-size-fits-all mandate of No Child Left Behind. “States must show they are protecting children in order to get flexibility," he said.

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Release from New York State Education Department on waiver:
No Child Left Behind Waiver

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