Colorado is one of 10 states to receive a waiver from some of the rules of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.
The waiver recognizes Colorado’s efforts to create a rigorous accountability system for students, teachers and administrators and permits greater local control for use of federal funds.
“This means that the Cherry Creek School District can now use federal funds to better meet the needs of our students,” said Assistant Superintendent of Performance Improvement Elliott Asp. “It also means we will be able to spend less time filing reports and more time focusing on student success.”
Congress passed the NCLB Act to improve accountability by school districts in the education of children of color, students with disabilities and those living in poverty. It required states to create content standards for all schools in reading, math, science and other subjects and meet a set of targets for achievement for all students each year. The law also required that all students must be proficient by 2014.
Last month, President Obama announced the U.S. Department of Education would grant waivers to some states if the if they met the following criteria:
• Set performance targets for improving student achievement and closing achievement gaps.
• Create accountability systems that recognize and reward high-performing schools and those that are making significant gains, while targeting rigorous and comprehensive interventions for the lowest-performing schools.
• All schools must have plans for improving achievement among underperforming groups of students.
With the creation of the state’s new system for accrediting schools, new model content standards and a new performance evaluation system for teachers and administrators, Colorado met the requirements for the waiver.