CONTACT:  Michele Clark
Communications Coordinator

Vol. 45, No. 111
Dec. 5, 2011

State Seeks Input on Draft NCLB Flexibility Request

Application to U.S. Department of Education is due Feb. 21

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education received the go-ahead from the State Board of Education during its Dec. 1-2 meeting to solicit public input to a draft document which could become Missouri’s flexibility waiver application for the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001.

The U.S. Department of Education is inviting each state education agency to voluntarily submit an alternate proposal that would provide state and local education leaders with flexibility regarding specific requirements of NCLB.

In October, Missouri education officials expressed their interest in submitting a proposal.  The waiver would allow states to exchange federal regulatory, administrative and reporting requirements for comprehensive state-developed plans designed to improve educational outcomes for all students.

“Upon in-depth review, we believe the application criteria align very closely with our Top 10 by 20 plan,” said Margie Vandeven, assistant commissioner with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.  “This could be an opportunity for the state to put forward a better plan – Missouri's plan – to fulfill federal requirements.”

The state education department is now inviting the public to review the draft and provide input.  A recorded online presentation introduces the waiver application and the three principles addressed in the criteria:

  • College- and career-ready expectations for all students
  • State-developed differentiated recognition, accountability and support
  • Support for effective instruction and leadership

“We will collect feedback until Jan. 5, then make revisions as necessary before taking the waiver application to the State Board for consideration on Jan. 17,” Vandeven said.

The application deadline is Feb. 21 for states seeking flexibility for the 2012-13 school year.  States that do not successfully apply for a waiver must operate under the provisions of the current Elementary and Secondary Education Act until it is reauthorized by Congress.