Schools struggling to make the grade will be given some flexibility under restriction eases of the No Child Left Behind Act, but only after states have met certain requirements.
President Obama announced on Friday that the federal government's ease on local and state education is meant to help a struggling school system.
The purpose is to help states, districts and schools that are ready to move forward with education reform, our administration will provide flexibility from the law in exchange for a real commitment to undertake change, Obama said. The purpose is not to give states and districts a reprieve from accountability, but rather to unleash energy to improve our schools at the local level.
Under the new rules, states may request flexibility in certain areas, such as the use of federal education funds.
We want to get out of the way and give states and districts flexibility to develop locally-tailored solutions to their educational challenges while protecting children and holding schools accountable for better preparing young people for college and careers, education secretary Arne Duncan said.
But in order to receive flexibility, states must first develop a plan to address what are considered three critical areas. One area in which states must prove themselves is by setting guidelines for evaluating teachers and principals.
One of my highest priorities is to help ensure that Federal laws and policies support the significant reforms underway in many States and school districts and do not hinder State and local innovation aimed at increasing the quality of instruction and improving student academic achievement, Duncan said.