Tuesday, February 28, marks the second deadline for states to apply for waivers from flawed provisions of No Child Left Behind (NCLB). States could see relief from an accountability system that requires 100 percent student proficiency in reading and math by 2014. Principals in states granted waivers would be required to receive a fair performance review before they are arbitrarily fired in efforts to “turn around” underperforming schools.

States applying for regulatory relief by Tuesday will undergo an on-site peer review the last week in March. The Department of Education will work with interested states from April on until they are granted a waiver. Twenty-six states and the District of Columbia have submitted an intent to apply for a waiver in the second round. (See the complete list of interested states here.) All 11 states that applied in the first round were granted waivers, including New Mexico, which was awarded a waiver after the first 10 waivers were announced

The third round waiver requests are due September 6, 2012.

A waiver from certain NCLB provisions is not an all-state solution. This second-round waiver deadline comes on the day the House Education and the Workforce Committee is making efforts to reauthorize large portions of Elementary and Secondary Education Act (currently called NCLB). The Committee is marking up two bills, the Student Success Act, H.R. 3989, and the Encouraging Innovation and Effective Teaching Act, H.R. 3990.

NAESP continues to call on Congress to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in a common sense way that would improve achievement outcomes of all students.

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