New ESEA waiver guidance

December 1, 2014

An article titled, New ESEA waiver guidance will sink schools where all boats are rising, questions the wisdom of new NCLB waiver guidelines. The author, Michael Petrilli, challenges the recent changes that would make it more difficult for schools to receive a high-performance rating even when they demonstrate significant improvement in key areas, but still suffer from achievement or graduation gaps. Petrilli provides an example of school that have been producing big gains in both math and reading, both overall and for its lowest-performing students, but which under new guidelines will not receive the recognition for these substantive gains in student achievement. The question this article asks is, Are these changes helping or hurting continuous improvement efforts for schools attaining notable improvement working with populations in which significant gaps exist?