What are NCLB waivers? In September of 2011, the Obama administration announced that it would allow states to apply for flexibility from No Child Left Behind (NCLB), which is the current authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Currently, 34 states and the District of Columbia have received waivers. More information is available here.
What do states need to do in order to do receive a waiver? 1) Implement college- and career-ready standards (such as the Common Core State Standards) and “high-quality” assessments that measure student growth. 2) Develop and implement a system of “differentiated recognition, accountability, and support” that looks at student achievement, divided by subgroups, in mathematics and English language arts as well as graduation rates and overall school performance and progress, including that of subgroups. 3) Implement teacher and principal evaluation/support that: a) Will be used for continual improvement of instruction b) Includes at least 3 performance levels c) Uses “multiple valid measures in determining performance levels, including as a significant factor data on student growth for all students” d) Regularly evaluates teachers and principals e) Provides timely feedback that guides professional development f) Informs personnel decisions How might NCLB waivers impact music educators? In many states, music teachers evaluations are changing in order to meet the criteria under point 3 above. More information on music teacher evaluation is available here.
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