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Connecticut education officials are given time to work on guidelines

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On July 3, a request from Connecticut education officials to waive the impementation of certain features of the No Child Left Behind Act for one more school year was approved. This waiver, which was authorized by the US Department of Education, was to help continue the trend toward school achievement, and it may be renewed after the 2014-2015 school year.

Connecticut officials intend to use the flexibility provided through this waiver to continue to work on and launch Common Core, which is a set of college- and career-ready school standards. Over the past few months the progress on this set of standards was slowed, because some critics objected to its requirements, claiming that they jeopardize local control over education.

The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, officially called the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, is a legislation signed into law in 2002 by President George W Bush, and is designed to improve the academic achievement of students who have persistent disadvantages in the classroom, such as those involving (a) economically disadvantaged students; (b) students from major racial and ethnic groups; (c) students with disabilities; and (d) students with limited English proficiency.

Funds were provided through this Act in order to establish programs that help these students to achieve a level of academic proficiency. However, in time, education officials stated that many schools couldn't realistically meet its requirements and that it unfairly stigmatized some schools as failures.

The waiver for Connecticut was first approved in 2012. With this waiver extension, time could be used to continue to work on the objections that were raised by state officials, as well as the objections of some teachers, who say they have been stymied by initiatives established with little involvement from those who work in the classrooms.

Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy has appointed a task force to review. This waiver extension arrangement was also made available to many states with objections to features of the NCLB Act. Among these are Arkansas, Colorado, Nevada, South Dakota and Virginia.

President Barack Obama stated in 2011 that more of these waivers for parts of the law will be given when other state education legislators work on improving their Common Core standards, as these states are doing.

References:

The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001

Stephen Singer. Feds give Connecticut another year on education changes. July 3, 2014. CTpost.com, Associated Press.

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