The U.S. Department of Education announced that Oregon’s request for waiver of No Child Left Behind provisions has been approved. The waiver releases Oregon schools from some punitive requirements of NCLB.
NCLB is a one-size-fits-all approach to judging school performance. It does not take into account a school’s unique circumstances or challenges. Under the waiver, Oregon will take a more positive approach to school improvement and create an accountability system that focuses on student growth.
Essentially, the approval of the waiver means schools in Oregon will be graded differently in the future.
Under the waiver, Oregon schools have agreed to:
- Create Achievement Compacts with the Oregon Department of Education that set realistic but aggressive achievement targets.
- Focus on special populations and the achievement gap.
- Focus on individual student growth in reading and math, and on growth in high school graduation rates.
- Focus on college and career-ready standards.
- Create a system of teacher and principal evaluation and support, to improve teaching and learning.
- Design a new Oregon Report Card to reflect how the State judges schools.
- Designate schools with strong performance as “model schools” that will share their knowledge and expertise with other schools.
- Designate schools with lower achievement as “priority schools” or “focus schools” and provide them with the freedom to define and fix problems, or with customized improvement plans.
The 2012-13 school year will be a time of transition to the new accountability system. An interim system will be in place based on the current Oregon Report Card. More information about the waiver and the interim system can be found on the Oregon Department of Education website.
In Salem-Keizer, the waiver approval will create immediate changes to Public School Choice and Supplementary Education Services (after school tutoring). Other impacts to the district won’t be known until more information is received about focus and priority schools. Information will be posted as soon as it is available.