The U.S. Department of Education issued a statement recently that it would carefully consider Long Beach’s application for a waiver from federal No Child Left Behind rules. The Long Beach Unified School District earlier this year joined eight other California school districts in submitting the waiver application.
The participating districts are part of the nonprofit California Office to Reform Education (CORE), and their collective waiver applications propose to replace the federal rules with a new, higher level of locally-driven accountability that will support efforts to prepare all students for college and careers.
“Given that the CORE districts collectively serve 1.2 million students – more than most states – we believe their request merits careful consideration,” the Education Department stated. “We commend the level of work and collaboration that the CORE districts have invested in their plan to date, and we are encouraged by the positive discussion among state board members regarding CORE's application.”
The participating school districts had submitted their bundled waiver applications to the California State Board of Education for a review. With that review now completed, the process moves to the federal level.
“The Department has the authority to grant district-level waivers, and we will now move CORE's application into the peer review process,” the Education Department stated.
Under the waiver, LBUSD would share data with other CORE districts to strengthen teaching and learning, and to identify elements that will be common among educator effectiveness and evaluation systems that each district will develop individually and implement by the 2014-15 school year.
The waiver does not supersede local bargaining rights in any way, and LBUSD’s current teacher evaluation system meets federal waiver requirements.
The CORE districts hope to secure federal approval by June.
View the full CORE Waiver Plan.