American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

ED Extends ESEA Waivers for States

(July 9, 2014)

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced that six states—Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Nevada, South Dakota, and Virginia—have received a 1-year extension for flexibility from certain provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also known as No Child Left Behind. The extension is through the 2014–2015 school year.

Background

According to ED, these "extensions allow states to move forward with the critical work of implementing the bold reforms they committed to in their original flexibility requests-which expire this summer-with the ultimate goal of improving achievement for all students." In order to receive an extension, states must demonstrate they have resolved any state-specific issues and next steps as a result of the agency's monitoring as well as any other outstanding issues related to ESEA flexibility. States could also request amendments to support their continuous improvement efforts. The Department is reviewing state requests for 1-year extensions on a rolling basis and anticipates approving additional extension requests over the next several weeks. Forty-three states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico currently have ESEA flexibility, 35 of which expire this summer. Of those, 29 have submitted an extension request to date.

ESEA has been due for congressional reauthorization since 2007. In the absence of its reauthorization, President Obama announced in September 2011 that the Administration would grant waivers from parts of the law to qualified states, in exchange for

  • adopting college- and career-ready expectations for all students;
  • creating accountability systems that target the lowest-performing schools, schools with the largest achievement gaps, and other schools that are not meeting targets for at-risk students;
  • developing and implementing teacher and leader evaluation and support systems that take into account student growth-among multiple measures-and are used to help educators improve their practices.

Resources

For more information, visit ED's website or contact Catherine D. Clarke, ASHA's director of education and regulatory advocacy, at cclarke@asha.org or 800-498-2071, ext. 5611.


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