No Waiver, No Cry

What a strange time for a visit from Arne Duncan, who was in town yesterday for a higher ed event on Thursday.

Just a couple of days before, the USDE had announced that Nevada was getting an NCLB waiver (PoliticsK12), leaving just three states -- including Illinois -- hanging in the wind.  At the same time, Chicago activists are petitioning for a change to an elected school board and Chicago teachers are threatening to strike despite a law that was supposed to prevent any such thing.

A local TV station got some tape of Duncan talking about the labor negotiations (ABC7) -- putting a positive spin on the situation, of course.

The silver lining of sorts is that Illinois has been awarded a one-year freeze on its AMO, meaning that it won't have to raise the minimum proficiency requirements on the ISAT next year as it would have had to do normally under NCLB.  Meaning that students taking tests next spring won't have to meet higher standards than in 2012 in order for their schools to make AYP.

There are 7 states with freezes but not waivers - effectively raising the number of states not operating under the current NCLB.  There's really only just one state I can find -- California -- that has requested a waiver but not gotten one but doesn't also have an AMO freeze in its back pocket.  Iowa, Idaho, and IL are still waiting on their waiver approvals -- but already have an AMO freeze.

Link to ISBE's waiver application here. Link to ISBE's NCLB page here.

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