by PBA from The Brustein & Manasevit Federal Update via email
19 Sept 2014 :: Last week, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) extended the California CORE districts’ waiver from the Elementary and Secondary Education Act for the 2014-2015 school year. The CORE districts, consisting of Fresno, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Oakland, San Francisco, Sanger, and Santa Ana Unified School Districts, possess the only district-level waiver in the country.
However, according to a letter sent by Assistant Secretary Deb Delisle, (follows) the CORE districts have now been placed on “high-risk” status because of their failure to develop and implement the School Quality Improvement Index and teacher and principal evaluation systems outlined in their initial waiver request. This means that they must take some additional action in order to retain their waiver:
- Submit an updated high-quality plan (HQP) for the 2014-2015 school year within 45 days, which must include key milestones and activities, a detailed timeline, responsible parties, evidence, resources, and significant obstacles;
- Provide ED with monthly updates on their progress in implementing the HQP;
- Submit a final version of their School Quality Improvement Index by March 31st, 2015; and
- Submit an amended joint request that incorporates final guidelines for teacher and principal evaluation and support systems.
John Deasy, Superintendent of Los Angeles Unified School District and member of the CORE Board of Directors, addressed the high-risk status in a statement, saying, “We remain fully dedicated to implementing the most effective improvement and accountability system possible to best serve our students.” He added, “A much higher risk to our students' and our communities' future would be to revert to the NCLB status quo.”
Arizona and Oregon have also been placed on high-risk status, both in 2013, for issues related to teacher evaluations. Kansas had been as well, but successfully had its high-risk status removed in August.
Alyson Klein, “CORE Districts' NCLB Waiver Extended, But Placed on ‘High Risk’ Status,” Education Week: Politics K-12, September 15, 2014.