Obama Offers Flexibility on NCLB

˙ PREAL Blog

On Friday, President Obama granted greater flexibility to states struggling to meet requirements of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act that has guided U.S. education policy since its signing in 2002. While noting that NCLB appropriately focuses on raising standards, improving accountability and closing the achievement gap, he criticized the policy for pressuring teachers to “teach to the test,” reducing emphasis on subjects like history and science, and incentivizing states to lower their standards to avoid being labeled failures. Aspects of NCLB on which the administration will grant greater flexibility include requirements for 100 percent of students to prove proficiency in math and reading by 2014 and for failing schools to provide students with after-school tutoring and free transportation to better schools.

In order to qualify for this flexibility, states must meet three requirements: 1) teachers and administrators must be effectively evaluated by taking improvements in the test scores of their students into account, 2) they must set achievement standards that require high-performing students to be “college and career ready,” and 3) they must develop strategies to address the problems of the lowest-performing schools.

Links to further information on the announcement:

  • Document from Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to the states, detailing 10 aspects of NCLB on which the administration will offer flexibility: ESEA Flexibility – 23 de sept.
  • Video Recording

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