Missouri has received a three-year waiver extension for flexibility from certain provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB). The U.S. Department of Education announced the extension today. The extension will run through the 2017-18 school year.
The waiver allows Missouri to use its own accountability system to identify struggling schools and efficiently direct resources to those schools, and to recognize schools that produce exemplary results. Under the waiver, districts also have more flexibility in allotting Title I funding.
“This waiver gives the state more flexibility to meet the education needs of our students,” said Commissioner of Education Margie Vandeven. “It allows us to work with Missouri schools and districts to set ambitious goals and focus on continuous improvement.”
ESEA flexibility has allowed Missouri to develop strategies and programs aimed at ensuring high quality education for all students, including the following:
- An accountability system that unites state and federal expectations. This aligned system operates effectively alongside the Missouri School Improvement Program (MSIP) Support and Intervention Plan to offer targeted assistance to schools in need.
- A research-based educator evaluation process that highlights the continuous growth and development of teacher and leader practices.
- The Diverse Learner Amplification (DLA) project that allows core academic teachers and teachers of English language learners and students with disabilities to participate in focused work to ensure all students gain language skills that will allow them to go on to a successful post-secondary program, either career training or college.
NCLB was due for reauthorization in 2007, but Congress has not yet passed a reauthorization bill. The waivers allow states to move forward and focus on providing high quality education to all students.
Missouri’s goals are outlined in the Top 10 by 20 initiative, an effort for Missouri to rank among the top 10 states in educational performance by 2020.