Dept. of Education Reaches Deadline For NCLB Waiver Response

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June 30, 2014—By RACHEL MORELLO, Indiana Public Media –

Today’s the day.

It’s June 30, the deadline federal officials set for Indiana to submit proof it is meeting expectations for its No Child Left Behind waiver.

State Supt. Glenda Ritz is expected to submit documents to the U.S. Department of Education to prove Indiana is meeting expectations for its No Child Left Behind waiver.

Indiana was one of seven states targeted by the federal Department of Education for not doing enough to put “college and career ready” academic standards in place. The U.S. Department of Education notified State Superintendent Glenda Ritz about the issue in May, giving the state 60 days to submit documents to satisfy their concerns.

Ritz is expected to submit amendments to the waiver, in a bid for a one-year extension.

Indiana is one of 42 states with a waiver from the No Child Left Behind Act, which released the state from some sanctions of the federal law.

The waiver was granted partly on the condition that Indiana adopt “college and career ready” academic standards. Indiana fulfilled that requirement when it adhered to the Common Core, but now that the Core has been voided, federal authorities want proof that the new state standards are just as challenging.

Indiana is also required to submit an outline for how it will create and administer new state tests in the 2014-15 school year to go along with those new standards.

A handful of other states have been put on notice that their waivers are in serious danger if changes are not made. Indiana was not given the same “high risk” status, but still had a number of concerns to address – more than most other states.

And now, we wait.

Both Ritz and Pence expressed confidence they will meet the federal government’s requirements after working with members of the U.S. Department of Education over the last 60 days.

Indiana schools could face sanctions if the state’s report does not satisfactorily answer federal concerns.  The state of Washington lost its waiver earlier this year for failing to comply with its terms. The loss will mean less flexibility in how federal education dollars are spent in local schools, a situation Indiana hopes to avoid.

It’s unclear how fast the U.S. Department of Education will respond to the state’s waiver amendments.


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