Flexibility? Not so much

Despite promises of flexibility on No Child Left Behind, the Education Department is micromanaging waivers, writes Mike Petrilli on Flypaper.

He cites Education Department letters to the states reported by AP, which show federal nitpicking.  Even “Massachusetts —the first-place finisher in the Race to the Top, the state with the highest achievement in the land, the one that has seen dramatic gains across all subgroups of students, a strong supporter (for better or worse) of the Common Core standards” gets no respect from the feds.

Petrilli predicts most of the 11 waiver-seeking states will be approved.

Upon closer inspection, observers will notice that the amount of flexibility granted on accountability is tiny. Approved plans will amount to minor changes away from the AYP system we’ve got today.

The number of states planning to apply for waivers by February 21 will drop precipitously, as they realize that it’s just not worth the effort.

This will raise congressional enthusiasm for rewriting No Child Left Behind, but “nothing will come of it this year.”

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