Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday joined President Barack Obama and U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan in Washington, D.C., today for an announcement about flexibility under the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law.
During the event, the president outlined how states can get relief from provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act – NCLB – in exchange for serious state-led efforts to close achievement gaps, promote rigorous accountability and ensure that all students are on track to graduate college- and career-ready.
Duncan indicated that the process by which states may apply for flexibility will now open, and states will have up to seven weeks in which to apply. The first round of waivers could be announced in late December or early January.
Kentucky education officials plan to apply, after slightly reworking the state’s original request for flexibility to fit federal guidelines.
Holliday offered the following comments about today’s announcement:
- Today, President Barack Obama announced a bold new effort to support local and state education reform across America.
- The president provided details on how states can get relief from provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act – or No Child Left Behind (NCLB) – in exchange for serious state-led efforts to close achievement gaps, promote rigorous accountability and ensure that all students are on track to graduate college- and career-ready.
- My thanks to the president and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan for listening to teachers, principals, parents and state leaders. I appreciate their recognition that NCLB – as written – limits innovation and flexibility to prepare children for college and careers.
- While NCLB had the right vision, it’s time to revisit the measurement system required by the law.
- We can keep the promise of NCLB – a focus on proficiency and closing achievement gaps – but we need to move toward additional focus on student academic growth and college/career readiness.
- States have been collaborating on principles for next-generation accountability models to replace NCLB, and the waiver process announced today supports the work that 46 states have agreed upon. This is the “quiet revolution” that Secretary Duncan has mentioned.
- This work includes a strong focus on low-achieving schools and teacher/leader effectiveness. Kentucky and other states are developing accountability models that include these crucial indicators, along with the development of new assessments and adoption of college- and career-ready measures.
- It’s been nearly ten years since NCLB became law, and from the data collected, we’ve learned much about what our students need to succeed at each grade level.
- With this new flexibility opportunity, we can now move forward to put a new educational system in place nationwide – one that is aligned to college and career readiness for all students as the ultimate outcome.