NCLB Waiver Not Approved At This Time

Iowa’s NCLB waiver application is not being approved at this time because the DE has no clear authority to change teacher and principal evaluation and support systems.

See the Branstad’s and Reynold’s comments here.

See coverage and related documents at The Sioux City Journal here or The Gazette here.

It seems that the Senate Democrats frustrated the investment of over 3500 hours of DE staff time (1.75 years of full-time work!).  However, the news coverage doesn’t address the question of whether the DE intends to forge ahead with other pieces of the ESEA Flexibility Request.  From the DE letter to the USED:

Over the past few weeks, we have worked through many of the concerns the U.S. Department of Education (USED) has pertaining to Principle 1 [College- and Career-Ready Expectations for All Students] and Principle 2 [State-Developed Differentiated Recognition, Accountability, and Support].  These conversations may have resulted in a plan for one of the best accountability systems in the nation and one that will improve outcomes for all students.

So, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens with the plans to adopt the Smarter Balanced Assessments and a new rating system for schools.

ADDED:  Senator Herman Quirmbach (D-Story) responds:

“The one thing that the governor requested but that SF 2284 did not do was to give Education Director Glass the unilateral power to adopt the educator evaluation system without legislative approval.  Both houses of the Legislature and both parties agreed that that was too much power to vest in an unelected bureaucrat.