NCLB Waivers

As many of you know, our WI DPI plans to submit our Wisconsin ESEA Flexibility request on Feb. 21st .  In the OSEP memo below are listed the states that were awarded waivers by the Obama administration that submitted in November. You can read the draft of our waiver request at:

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From: OSERS Office of the Assistant Secretary []
Sent: Friday, February 10, 2012 8:17 AM
Subject: President Obama Announces Waivers for 10 States – Students with Disabilities Mentioned in Remarks!

News, Events and Updates from the Office of the Assistant Secretary February 10, 2012

Dear Colleague:

Yesterday at the White House, President Obama announced that ten states that have agreed to implement bold reforms around standards and accountability will receive flexibility from the burdensome mandates of the federal education law known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB). In exchange for this flexibility, these states have agreed to raise standards, improve accountability, and undertake essential reforms to improve teacher effectiveness. The ten states approved for flexibility are Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.

In his remarks, President Obama specifically mentioned students with disabilities as part of the waivers and an expectation of high standards for all students.  He stated, “Each of these states has set higher benchmarks for student achievement.  They’ve come up with ways to evaluate and support teachers fairly, based on more than just a set of test scores.  And along with promoting best practices for all of our children, they’re also going to be focusing on low-income students, and English language learners, and students with disabilities — not just to make sure that those children don’t fall through the cracks, but to make sure they have every opportunity to go as far as their talents will take them.”

In awarding waivers to the 10 states, Secretary Duncan, in his letters to the Chief State School Officers (CSSO), stated that he is encouraged by the innovative thinking and strong commitment to improving achievement for all students. He also specifically mentioned in each of the letters that each State “continues to have an affirmative responsibility to ensure that it and its districts are in compliance with Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, and age in their implementation of ESEA flexibility as well as their implementation of all other Federal education programs.  These laws include Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and requirements under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.”

I want to draw your attention to some important links below.  Please click here to read President Obama’s remarks yesterday from the White House.  Also, please check out the White House page on “Everything You Need to Know: Waivers, Flexibility, and Reforming No Child Left Behind.”

Please click here to read the U.S. Department of Education’s press release and for additional information on ESEA Flexibility, including request details, please check out the following information at


Alexa Posny, Ph.D.

Jan Serak, M.A.

WI FACETS Executive Co-Director

600 W. Virginia Street, Suite 501

Milwaukee, WI 53204

877-374-0511, 414-374-4645, fax 414-374-4655;

WI FACETS is not a legal services agency and cannot provide legal advice or legal representation.  Any information contained in this message is not intended as legal advice and should not be used as a substitution for legal advice.

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