State requests NCLB waiver; Metro Schools fails to meet AYP - WSMV Channel 4

State requests NCLB waiver; Metro Schools, 77 others fail to meet AYP

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

The Tennessee Department of Education announced Friday that it has applied to the U.S. Secretary of Education for a waiver requesting regulatory flexibility around the No Child Left Behind Act.

The U.S. Department of Education has proposed plans to provide "regulatory flexibility" around No Child Left Behind (NCLB). This option will not replace comprehensive reform, or give states and districts a pass from accountability, but is intended to help support reform efforts underway at the state and local level.

In a letter to Secretary Arne Duncan, Governor Bill Haslam and Commissioner of Education Kevin Huffman said that 78 school systems and 806 schools in the state fail to meet AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) standards.

Metro Nashville Public Schools was among the systems identified in a conference call with Haslam and Huffman that did not obtain AYP.

According to a release, Tennessee is applying for a waiver because Congress was due to reauthorize the No Child Left Behind Act in recent years, but has not done so.

The law's outdated regulations mean that virtually all schools in Tennessee (and the vast majority of schools nationwide) will soon not make "adequate yearly progress" (AYP) and will be considered failing under No Child Left Behind.

The law's definition of adequate yearly progress no longer captures a nuanced view of which schools are in need of additional support and interventions from the state.

The state is seeking freedom from adequate yearly progress (AYP) rules and definitions, as well as flexibility on some funding restrictions.

Tennessee seeks to use our state proficiency targets as both the measure of progress and to determine districts and schools for intervention, including the Achievement School District.

Tennessee also seeks to continue plans under Race to the Top as the central reform model in the state.

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