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District of Columbia Receives ESEA Waiver Approval

Elementary and Secondary Education Act Flexibility Waiver: Final Submission

Dear Stakeholders,

After an inclusive application, feedback and revision process spanning several months, we are pleased to announce that the District of Columbia’s application to the U.S. Department of Education requesting flexibility from the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) – commonly known as 'No Child Left Behind' – has officially been approved!

My deepest thank you to all of the students, parents, teachers, administrators, schools, community members, elected officials and other residents committed to education. Your invaluable feedback and support have helped us begin a path toward the goal of improving statewide student achievement, in every school and at every level.

Since electing to apply for ESEA flexibility last October, OSSE took unprecedented steps to communicate with the Department of Education and stakeholders to create a new accountability system that provides access to a world-class education that every child in the District of Columbia is entitled to experience.

Today’s approval is a reflection of what is in the best interest of our students and schools, and as we embark on the statewide implementation phase, the benefits of ESEA flexibility will revitalize the District’s current accountability system and allow schools to target rewards and supports based on academic achievement and needs. These efforts ultimately support all D.C. students, and our goal is to ensure greater achievement in student outcomes, teacher and leader effectiveness, and school success.

OSSE remains dedicated to setting quality standards of achievement to serve and support every child in the District of Columbia, from infancy and pre-school enrollment through postsecondary graduation and entry into the professional workforce. Along with the lessons learned from stakeholders such as you, OSSE will continue to serve as a catalyst for removing barriers and creating opportunities for student achievement and high quality schools.

Thank you again for your continued encouragement and support.



Hosanna Mahaley

State Superintendent of Education