The United States Department of Education has granted the state of Illinois a waiver for No Child Left Behind.
The waiver will give the state more flexibility when it comes to setting standards for education. Some steps have already been put into place, including adopting college and career-ready learning standards in English, Language Arts, and Mathematics in 2010. The next year, the state implemented standards for teacher evaluation basing performance above tenure.
The waiver will call for a new system to keep the state and districts accountable, so Illinois will implement one that looks at the entire school and district, not just a test score. In addition, the system calls for more focus on closing achievement gaps, turning around the lowest-performing schools, building capacity for improvement at schools, and enhanced transparency.
The No Child Left Behind Act has been due for reauthorization by Congress since 2007. However, since the act was not reauthorized, President Barack Obama announced qualified states could receive waivers in September 2011.
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