On July 6, the states of Washington and Wisconsin were granted waivers by the U.S. Department of Education from the mandates of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Virginia, Arkansas, Missouri, South Dakota and Utah had waivers approved on June 29. Twenty-six states have now been granted waivers while 10 states and the District of Columbia still await decisions regarding their applications for waivers. Virginia is the first state to be granted a waiver that has not adopted the Common Core State Standards in mathematics and English/language arts. The administration has maintained that states would be granted waivers only if they adopted standards, whether the Common Core or standards established by the state. No state standard approach had yet gained approval, leaving questions about what state standards would meet approval. Virginia’s waiver proposal included statements from various institutes of higher education saying the state’s standards prepare high school graduates for credit-bearing college coursework. Three New England states—Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island—already received waiver approvals earlier this year from the Department of Education, while Vermont’s application is awaiting a decision. On July 3, the state of Maine and five other states were granted permission to freeze their Annual Measurable Outcomes (AMO) for one year
As a member of New England Council, we publish the DC Shuttle each week featuring higher ed news from Washington. This edition is drawn from the Council’s Weekly Washington Report Higher Education Update, of July 16, 2012.
Founded in 1925, the New England Council is a nonpartisan alliance of businesses, academic and health institutions, and public and private organizations throughout New England formed to promote economic growth and a high quality of life in the New England region. The Council’s mission is to identify and support federal public policies and articulate the voice of its membership regionally and nationally on important issues facing New England. For more information, please visit: www.newenglandcouncil.com.