Washington, DC -- To solicit public comment, opinion and insights from key constituents including Local Education Agencies, Schools, Parents, Teachers, Community Members, Elected officials and District stakeholders committed to education, today the Office of the State Superintendent of Education released its initial draft of The District’s federal waiver request to the US Department of Education for flexibility regarding the implementation of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) – most commonly known as No Child Left Behind.
“No child Left Behind was conceived with the best intentions, but systemic change is needed in order to best serve District students, teachers and parents,” said State Superintendent Hosanna Mahaley. “We need an accountability system that recognizes more than test scores, and the flexibility offered under this federal waiver will allow us to take into account a student’s growth among other factors that better represent the actual progress happening in schools throughout our city.”
“OSSE aims to set broader standards of assessment for D.C. schools; our flexibility application will allow us to do just that.”
OSSE worked collaboratively with several groups including the State Board of Education, D.C. Public Schools, neighborhood associations and the Public Charter School Board to conduct focus groups, research the advantages of ESEA flexibility and build a consensus of the best practices needed to submit the strongest possible ESEA flexibility application. “It was important that all perspectives of education were reflected, and having such a diverse set of industry partners and education stakeholders at the table was crucial in developing and drafting an application reflecting the needs of all District schools,’ added Mahaley, noting that under current NCLB accountability requirements, only 25 schools out of 187 in the District of Columbia met Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in both reading and math in 2011. “Ten years of ineffective results clearly show that NCLB in its current incarnation is not working, and we believe this waiver is an important next step toward improving education strategy and presenting an inclusive view of what successful student growth in the District can look like.”
Editor Note: The full District of Columbia ESEA Waiver application and Frequently Asked Questions document are available online at www.osse.dc.gov. OSSE is also allowing comments to be submitted at [email protected], and during public meetings where OSSE staff will presenting the waiver application and take questions from the public.