Monday, July 2, 2012

OSPI wins approval . . .

My concerns in yesterday's post about the state’s application for NCLB waivers appear to be unfounded based on an e-mail today from OSPI staff.  It is another example of open mouth and let flow without good information, something I need to consider as I choose blog topics.  On the other hand, I’ll just chalk it up as a poor estimate of success. 

With the recent announcement from the United State Department of Education (USED) that five additional states were granted ESEA flexibility requests (waivers), several of you have inquired about the status of Washington’s flexibility application.  In short, negotiations are continuing and, after last Friday’s conversation with USED, have reached a point where we are confident that final approval will be granted and that Washington will be included in the next round of announcements.

This would once again suggest to me that the process implemented by the federal education department is more flexible than I and others first thought.  First, Virginia was successful without needing to sign on to the Common Core standards then our state experienced success with a teacher evaluation system that provides more flexibility in how student assessment data will be used than I thought would be approved.

This is good news for all of us, but especially for those in schools and districts that have not met Adequate Yearly Progress and are in school improvement.  They will no longer need to be labeled as failing under the NCLB guidelines and will move to the accountability system proposed by OSPI in the waiver request.

I look forward to Washington’s waiver request being approved in the next round of announcements expected in the coming weeks.

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