Alaska, Hawaii and West Virginia Approved for ESEA Flexibility
May 22, 2013
Alaska, Hawaii and West Virginia Approved for ESEA
On Monday, May 20, the U.S. Department of Education approved
three states— Alaska, Hawaii and West Virginia—for flexibility from key
requirements of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). These
additions bring the total number states approved for flexibility to 37 with an
additional 8 states having applied and awaiting approval.
In September 2011, in the face of congressional gridlock,
the department developed flexibility waivers as a way to release states from
the burdens of Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), which was imposed on schools in
the 2001 authorization of ESEA known as No Child Left Behind. Waivers are
issued in exchange for state-developed plans, approved by the Department of
Education, “to prepare all students for college and career, focus aid on the
neediest students and support effective teaching and leadership.”
At the time of this posting the department had not yet
posted the approved applications, but we were able to review the original
applications. If the final plans are similar, like some of the previously
approved applications, these new waivers will allow Alaska, Hawaii and West
Virginia to introduce real measures of career readiness and boost their CTE
- Alaska will introduce career readiness
assessment participation rates and scores into its school performance index for
high schools in addition to its academic indicators.
- Hawaii will reserve 55 percent of the school
academic performance index score for “readiness” indicators. These include
on-time graduation rates, college-going rates and student performance on
college- and career-readiness assessments.
- West Virginia did not include career readiness
measures in its accountability index. However, the state’s plan mentioned the
development of rigorous CTE programs around six career clusters that will give
students the opportunity to earn an industry-recognized credential.
To view the applications of these or other states who have applied
or been approved, please visit the Department of Education’s website or see this previous
summary post from the CTE Policy Watch blog. ACTE will continue to monitor
the application process and will bring you any updates on the remaining eight
applicants or the five states who have not yet requested flexibility.