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OH waiver from No Child Left Behind
Joined: Jul 04 2011
Posted: May 30 2012 at 10:35am
The link shows a simulation of the district's performance under the new report card system. Middletown would have had a D- grade last year:
Waiver lets Ohio draft own school standards
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration will give Ohio extra flexibility to use its own education standards and assessments in exchange for the state using a hammer on school districts to ensure they adequately prepare all students for college and career.
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced Tuesday that Ohio was one of eight states to receive a waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind law, a controversial 2001 education measure that required all students to be proficient in math and reading by 2014. Eleven other states have already received waivers.
Ohio’s application, said Carmel Martin, the Education Department’s assistant secretary for planning, evaluation and policy development, was impressive because it put forth a “very strong plan” with high performance targets and “a very strong district-level accountability system.”
The plan, she said, was notable because it aimed to give students “21st century skills” and also included a strong plan for implementing teacher evaluations.
But Gov. John Kasich and the General Assembly have not reached agreement on the centerpiece of Ohio’s new accountability system – letter-grade report cards for school districts and individual schools based on more rigorous performance criteria. They have pledged to do so by the end of the year.
While details are still being discussed and must be approved by lawmakers, the new evaluation system is certain tougher than the current one.
For instance, the prestigious Upper Arlington school district near Columbus would get an F for closing the achievement gap between minorities and the rest of its student body. That’s one of three grades from which a district’s overall grade would be based, according to an updated proposal released yesterday by the Ohio Department of Education.
A district-by-district simulation based on 2011 data showed that far fewer schools would receive an overall A under the proposed system, as failure to address the needs of students with special needs, non-native English speakers and other categories of youngsters would pull down many grades.
Three Butler County districts — Ross, Lakota and Talawanda — received the top Ohio Report Card rating of Excellent with Distinction for their latest report cards, meaning that they not only met achievement goals, but also maintained Adequate Yearly Progress, the most controversial of the NCLB provisions.
\However, under the proposed new system, Talawanda and Lakota would have gotten a B, while Ross would have received an A.
Statewide, 5 percent of Ohio’s 609 school districts would receive an A or A+, the simulation showed.
Most districts – 44 percent – would get a B+, B or B-, while 13 percent would get a D and 9 percent would get an F.
“This is a major step forward that will allow us to raise the bar for our schools so Ohio can remain competitive and ensure that our students have the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in life,” said Ohio schools Superintendent Stan Heffner.
Connecticut, Delaware, Louisiana, Maryland, New York, North Carolina and Rhode Island will also receive waivers, under the announcement made Tuesday.
In exchange for freedom from the No Child Left Behind law, Ohio and other states had to submit a plan showing how they would improve student performance to ensure they are ready for college and making teachers and principals more accountable.
Federal regulators approved Ohio’s waiver request although a new accountability system for schools remains subject to approval by the General Assembly. The administration’s proposal was included in Kasich’s education legislation but the bill stalled in the legislature over concerns about the proposed formula for grading schools.
A revised version of Ohio’s waiver request shows that a 13-member task force will be created to work out the differences. The panel would issue recommendations to lawmakers by Sept. 15 with approval of legislation no later than Jan. 1. New report cards would be issued in August 2013, a year later than originally planned.
The proposal would give more weight to how much progress students make and include “plus” and “minus” grades. Schools would get a letter grade based on performance in three areas: student achievement, student growth, and how much they are able to close achievement gaps among various groups of students. (A fourth category was dropped.) The latter would clearly be the toughest hurdle for most districts.
Among Ohio’s goals is cutting achievement gaps by half within six years.
The eight states announced Tuesday join Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Tennessee in receiving waivers from the law.
A handful of states - Arkansas, Arizona, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin and the District of Columbia - have also requested waivers from the law but have yet to receive them.
White House Domestic Policy Council Director Cecilia Munoz said the Department of Education was issuing the waivers because Congress had not reformed the law. Since the law passed, she said, three million people have entered and graduated from high school.
“Our kids can’t afford to wait any longer,” she said.
Ohio submitted its application to the Obama administration in February. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said the waiver “will allow teachers and administrators to focus on providing quality education for our students, rather than just checking the boxes.”
Ohio’s waiver application and district-by-district simulation of new report card grades is available at http://www.ode.state.oh.us/GD/Templates/Pages/ODE/ODEDetail.aspx?page=3&TopicRelationID=129&ContentID=116237
Joined: Jul 10 2011
According to the ODE Middletown got a D- overall. You can see it for yourself. Where is the improvement again?
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