No Child Left Behind Waiver for Indiana

No Child Left Behind Waiver for Indiana

A waiver from the U.S. Dept. of Education means Indiana will not lose flexibility on spending $230 million in federal funding. The waiver extension also gives the state the ability to avoid strict No Child Left Behind requirements.
The No Child Left Behind act means just that: every child must reach standards put in place by the Department of Education.

"This required all of the Indiana districts to try to meet the 100% of students meeting language, arts and math standards by 2013-2014 and that was a very, very high barometer to meet," said Dr. Karen Goeller, Deputy Superintendent of the Vigo County School Corporation.

Not having to meet the tough No Child Left Behind requirements is a step in the right direction, but there are still some strict requirements the state has to meet.

"They no longer have to have that 100% but they had to put in some other rigorous components, like the college and career ready standards, the teacher evaluations, and the accountability," added Dr. Goeller.

In April, the state was told its waiver was in jeopardy. But Thursday, federal officials announced the waiver's approval, which was good news to state officials.

"It allows schools to actually utilize part of their Title 1 dollars to implement instructional services for students," said Glenda Ritz, Superintendent of Public Instruction. "We're talking remediation. We're talking intervention and we're talking instructional coaches. We're talking personnel that actually assist children on a one-to-one basis. We're really talking about the flexibility to be able to do that."

Dr. Goeller says the state is on their way in meeting these three components.

"Indiana's very involved in college and career standards. Indiana is continuing to work toward improving an A to F accountability system, a letter grade system. Also, working on accountability on teacher and principal evaluations," explained Dr. Goeller.

If Indiana lost the waiver, the flexibility to spend millions of federal money would've been unavailable, which could have led to cuts in services and jobs at school districts throughout the state.
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