CONTACT:  Sarah Potter
Communications Coordinator


Vol. 46, No. 50
June 29, 2012

Missouri's ESEA Flexibility Waiver Approved

State will receive relief from federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) requirements

Today the U.S. Department of Education approved Missouri's Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) waiver giving the state flexibility from burdensome No Child Left Behind (NCLB) requirements. The waiver allows Missouri to use its own accountability system to more effectively identify struggling schools, to efficiently direct resources to struggling schools and to recognize schools achieving exemplary results.

"We are celebrating the approval of Missouri's ESEA waiver, and we greatly appreciate the hard work and feedback of all those who were involved," said Missouri Commissioner of Education Chris L. Nicastro. "While this is the culmination of the application process, the real effort is just beginning. Our goal is to ensure that all students graduate from high school college- and career-ready and for Missouri to become one of the top 10 states in education by the year 2020."

Missouri's ESEA waiver:

  • Implements higher academic standards
  • Creates one state system of accountability
  • Allows more flexible Title I spending for schools
  • Focuses on school improvement
  • Improves the teacher evaluation system

Missouri's flexibility waiver will go into effect immediately for the 2012-2013 school year, although there will be some implementation and phase in throughout the year.

The final waiver application, answers to frequently asked questions and other supporting documents can be found on the Department's website at

Missouri was one of five states to receive approval today in round two of the waiver request including Arkansas, South Dakota, Utah and Virginia.