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Posts tagged: no child left behind

Idaho wins NCLB waiver, approval to use 5-Star school assessment system instead of ‘adequate yearly progress’

Idaho's request for a waiver from the No Child Left Behind Law's measuring standards for school success has been granted by the U.S. Department of Education. The state plans instead to use a new “Five-Star Rating System” to judge school success, rather than the NCLB law's “adequate yearly progress” standard, which is based on how many of the school's students, including those in various subgroups, score as proficient on tests; under the federal law, schools that repeatedly fail to meet that standard face sanctions, including lost funding, and can be labeled as failures.

Idaho's new five-star standard weighs proficiency, academic growth, and measures of readiness for post-secondary education or careers. Idaho used the standard last school year, and more than half of the state's schools achieved a four-star or five-star rating, while just 15 percent earned one or two stars. A quarter fell in the middle, with three stars. Under the NCLB standard, for the same  year, just 60 percent of Idaho's schools made AYP, meaning 40 percent were labeled as potential failures.

State Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna hailed the approval, which still needs a final OK from the state Board of Education at its meeting this week in Lewiston. “We will use this data to recognize our excellent schools and provide intensive technical assistance to schools that are struggling,” Luna said. Click below for a full report from AP reporter Todd Dvorak; click here to read the full announcement from the state Department of Education.

Idaho school progress stalls under No Child Left Behind law

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) ― Student progress remains stalled in Idaho under the federal No Child Left Behind law, with about two-thirds of public schools meeting targets. State education officials released results Friday even as Idaho tries to move away from the law's benchmarks and adopt a new five-star rating system for schools. Idaho's request for a waiver from the law, though, is still awaiting approval from the U.S. Department of Education. About 60 percent of Idaho schools met adequate yearly progress last year under the law, which is about the same as the previous year, when 62 percent met the targets, mirroring the previous year. Under the proposed new system, about half of Idaho's 650 schools were ranked as four stars. State officials say the new scale is different because it measures academic growth.

Luna testifies to Congress about reforming No Child Left Behind law

Here's a news item from the Associated Press:  BOISE, Idaho (AP) — State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna is commending efforts in Congress to reform the federal No Child Left Behind law to measure student academic growth from year to year. Luna is president-elect of the Council of Chief State School Officers and testified Tuesday before a U.S. Senate panel, saying he supports efforts to overhaul the nation's governing education law. Idaho was among three states that vowed to ignore the latest requirements under No Child Left Behind, saying the education program sets unrealistic benchmarks for schools while failing to accurately measure student growth. Idaho and other states are implementing new statewide accountability systems. President Barack Obama announced in September that since Congress had failed to rewrite No Child Left Behind, he was allowing states a waiver to get around it.

Luna joins Obama at White House, praises new NCLB waiver process

Idaho state schools Superintendent Tom Luna was among more than a dozen state school chiefs invited to joint President Obama and his education secretary, Arne Duncan, at the White House this morning to unveil a new waiver process for states under the No Child Left Behind Law. Luna said Idaho, which earlier refused to comply with changing rules in the program, will be among the first states to apply for one of the new waivers in November.

“Idaho has been extremely vocal on what the waiver process should look like, so I'm not surprised they invited Supt. Luna,” said Melissa McGrath, Luna's spokeswoman. After the White House ceremony, Luna said in a statement, “This will not be a waiver from accountability, but it will give the necessary flexibility states need to increase accountability and focus on making sure every student in Idaho is growing academically every year they are in school. I believe this is a symbolic shift of power from the federal government back to the states.”

Luna made the trip to the White House from New York, where he was attending a conference on education technology hosted by the New York Times. After the D.C. ceremony, he's scheduled to fly back to New York to participate in NBC's “Education Nation” school-reform summit, part of which will be televised on Sunday on MSNBC. Luna is due back in Idaho the evening of Sept. 29. Click below for a full report on the new waiver process from AP reporter Jessie Bonner, and you can read Luna's full statement here.

Other states joining Idaho to defy No Child Left Behind requirements

It turns out that Idaho's not alone in vowing to ignore the latest requirements under the No Child Left Behind Act in an act of defiance against the federal government that demonstrates their growing frustration over an education program they say sets unrealistic benchmarks for schools, the Associated Press reports. Joining Idaho are Montana and South Dakota, while Kentucky is seeking a waiver from the law and other states are considering the issue. Click below to read a full report from AP reporters Jessie Bonner and Christine Armario.

Luna to feds: Idaho won’t raise NCLB ‘benchmarks’ next year

Idaho state schools Superintendent Tom Luna has sent a letter to U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan saying Idaho won't increase the “benchmarks” its students have to reach under the federal No Child Left Behind law next year, as the law requires, because the law measures only proficiency, not student academic growth from year to year. Instead, Idaho will use its own system for gauging student achievement, and not comply with that provision of No Child Left Behind until the federal law is overhauled to use better measures, the AP reports; click below for a full report from AP reporter Jessie Bonner. You can read Luna's letter to Duncan here.

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About this blog

Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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