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ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION

Maine ESEA Waiver Approved

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August 14, 2013

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Maine ESEA Waiver Approved

This week, the U.S. Department of Education approved Maine’s waiver for flexibility from key requirements of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

In the face of congressional gridlock on the reauthorization of ESEA, the department began issuing waivers from provisions in the law, such as adequate yearly progress (AYP), in exchange for state-developed plans to “prepare all students for college and career, focus aid on the neediest students and support effective teachers and leadership.” To date, the department has approved waivers for 40 states and the District of Columbia.

Maine’s approved waiver did not include career readiness or other CTE measures in its new school accountability system, but the state has made other efforts in the waiver process to bolster CTE opportunities for all students in the state, including:

  • legislation directing state CTE centers to adopt national career and industry standards, in addition to the Common Core State Standards, in order to ensure rigorous, standards-based programming
  • pilot career pathway programs that engage high schools, CTE centers, community colleges and four-year universities and offer a sequence of courses leading to postsecondary education and a career
  • community colleges directed to work with CTE centers in creating smoother transition process for high school CTE students to pursue higher education
  • collaboration on the definition and indicators of college and career readiness

Other states and territories still awaiting a decision on their submitted waiver applications are Illinois, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Texas, Wyoming, Puerto Rico and the Bureau of Indian Education. States who have not submitted an application are welcome to do so at any time.

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