- Associated Press - Friday, November 6, 2015

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska’s education commissioner has advised the state to hold off on further action on its application for a waiver of some requirements of No Child Left Behind.

Seven months after applying for the waiver, the Nebraska Department of Education received a letter from the U.S. Department of Education, stating that a panel of “peer reviews” noted the “significant steps” that have been made toward developing systems that meet the waiver’s requirements. The letter praised the state’s school accountability system and work to prepare students for college and careers.

The waiver would give the state flexibility on the federal law’s requirements, including the stipulation that 100 percent of students must be proficient in reading and math. School districts and schools that repeatedly fail to meet the law’s targets face sanctions and the possibility of losing federal funds that go to high-poverty schools.

The Lincoln Journal Star (https://bit.ly/1Qj9Do8 ) reports Nebraska Education Commissioner Matt Blomstedt told the state’s education department Thursday that the best strategy is to wait for at least a couple of months.

Blomstedt says Nebraska needs to see whether Congress will reauthorize No Child Left Behind before putting any more work into the waiver application. According to Blomstedt, there would be no benefit from getting the waiver this year because Nebraska has already had to release a list of schools that did not meet proficiency targets.

The state education department is focusing on launching its new accountability system in December. The system will classify the performance of schools and intervene in the three lowest-performing schools.


Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, https://www.journalstar.com

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