The Department of Education approved New Mexico’s No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Waiver application, making it the eleventh state to receive a waiver. Several additional states intend to apply for NCLB Waivers by the February 28 deadline. Other states have expressed interest in applying but say they need more time. In response, the Department has set a third-round deadline of September 6, 2012. The Department also has created an application process for these states to request a one-year freeze in their annual achievement targets to keep the list of schools failing to make adequate yearly progress from growing. In order to obtain a one-year freeze, states have to meet several requirements, including publicly reporting on achievement gaps and graduation gaps for subgroups of students (e.g. students with disabilities).
The Department created a “cheat sheet” for states that intend to apply for NCLB waivers. Based on feedback to the original 11 states from peer reviewers, the Department suggests that states pay attention to:
- “Meaningful” consultation with stakeholders, especially those representing students with disabilities.
- Plans for helping students with disabilities, including professional development for all teachers not just special education teachers.
Identification of low performing subgroups and targeted interventions even in schools that are not among the lowest performing 5%.