Next week we will be officially submitting the District of Columbia’s federal waiver request to the U.S. Department of Education for flexibility in implementing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).
11 other states have already been granted NCLB flexibility and Since announcing our intention to apply, OSSE has held nearly 60 public events and communicated with thousands of D.C. residents around the waiver, including focus groups, community meetings and panels with Advisory Neighborhood Commissions across all 8 Wards and with several groups including the State Board of Education, D.C. Public Schools, neighborhood associations and the Public Charter School Board. OSSE also established a dedicated email account to collect feedback during its public comment period, published and distributed an FAQ document and produced video presentations in both English and Spanish for broadcast on the District’s DKN Television station and online.
So what does this all mean to you?
Well for starters, ESEA flexibility will provide:
• For Students – A system that measures student growth and critical thinking to inspire better teaching and greater student engagement across a well-rounded curriculum.
• For Parents – Accurate and descriptive information about their children’s progress and honest accountability that recognizes and rewards success and – where schools fall short – targeted and focused strategies for the students most at risk.
• For Teachers – A collaborative learning culture where teachers can target instruction toward the needs of students and offer a well-rounded curriculum. Fair and responsible evaluations that are based on multiple measures including peer review, principal observation, and classroom work.
• For Principals – Greater flexibility to tailor solutions to the unique educational challenges of their students and recognition for progress and performance.
So what do you think? Sound good? Let us know!