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DC OSSE Poised to Present Revised ESEA Waiver Application

Thursday, May 24, 2012
Updates Include District’s Response to Feedback from U.S. Department of Education

Washington, DC – Today the District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education (DC OSSE) released a revised version of its application to the U.S. Department of Education (ED) requesting relief from the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) –commonly known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB).

A complete Draft version and Executive Summary of the District of Columbia’s ESEA Waiver Application have been posted online at www.osse.dc.gov, and DC OSSE will present an overview of the District of Columbia’s ESEA waiver application and take questions during a public meeting at OSSE Headquarters (810 First Street NE, 6:30PM) on Tuesday, May 29th.  

Explaining changes made to the District’s initial ESEA application in response to official ED feedback, State Superintendent Hosanna Mahaley noted how since electing to apply for ESEA flexibility in October 2011, DC OSSE has implemented a comprehensive course of action to engage a variety of stakeholders at all levels for input during the waiver process. As the State Education Agency, DC OSSE:

  • Hosted presentations among all District Wards,
  • Hosted open office hours,
  • Created multi-lingual videos for publication,
  • Created a list of Frequently Asked Questions for distribution among neighborhood, ward and community-based list serves,
  • Created a dedicated email account for public comment, and
  • Worked with several groups including the State Board of Education, D.C. Public Schools and Neighborhood Associations and the Public Charter School Board to conduct focus groups and solicit feedback.

“School reform requires collaboration and two-way dialogue,” said Mahaley, recounting how the Department of Education’s April 17th official feedback letter praised DC OSSE for its expansive public engagement and for preparing District schools for the transition to college and career-ready standards while initially applying for ESEA flexibility in February. “It was important that all perspectives of education were reflected, and we worked closely with several stakeholder groups to clarify how the District’s ESEA application aligns with federal requirements to recognize and reward student growth and sustained academic achievement.”

DC OSSE will officially submit the District of Columbia’s ESEA Application on June 1st.