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OSSE, District of Columbia Poised to Submit NCLB Waiver Application

Monday, February 13, 2012
OSSE hosts ward final meetings before closing public comments, will submit flexibility request by month’s end

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                 OSSE Contact: 202-727-6436, [email protected]

Washington, DC -- The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) will hold two separate public meetings today as part of final preparations to submit the District of Columbia’s federal waiver request to the US Department of Education for flexibility regarding the implementation of No Child Left Behind (NCLB).

“As a whole, No Child Left Behind has not worked for District students, teachers and parents,” said State Superintendent Hosanna Mahaley, who was part of a select group of State Superintendents invited to attend a news conference at the White House last Thursday as the Obama administration announced the first 10 states awarded NCLB flexibility. “We look forward to submitting a waiver application that rewards factors beyond test scores, flexibly measures student growth and supports District schools based on academic achievement and needs.”

Since January, a series of ten presentations were conducted among all 8 District Wards to solicit feedback and answer questions about the city’s application from residents and area stakeholders. Today’s final two meetings will be held at the Chevy Chase Community Center (5601 Connecticut Ave, NW, 7:30 PM) and IDEA Public Charter School (1027 45th St, NE, 6PM)

The open public comment period ends Tuesday, February 14th

“The benefits of a waiver allow us to set broader standards of assessment for D.C. schools and higher expectations for teaching and learning,” Added Mahaley, noting that only 25 schools out of 187 in the District of Columbia met Adequate Yearly Progress in both reading and math in 2011 when measured under current NCLB accountability requirements.  “The time has arrived for multiple means of evaluation, and the flexibility in our application will ensure accountability decisions are measured comprehensively and not by a single-day test score assessed against an arbitrary proficiency level.”

“Our agency remains committed to preparing District students for success within and beyond the classroom, and we have developed a waiver application that is meaningful, comprehensive and progressive in moving education forward in the District of Columbia.”


Editor Note: A full draft of the District of Columbia NCLB Waiver application and list of Frequently Asked Questions are available online at www.osse.dc.gov. OSSE is also allowing comments to be submitted at [email protected] before closing the public comment period on Tuesday, February 14th.