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No Child Left Behind Waivers


The U.S. Department of Education (USDE) recently announced that it is formally inviting states to apply for waivers to move beyond the flawed accountability measures of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), also known as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

The unrealistic and punitive aspects of NCLB have made it counterproductive. Every year that NCLB moves forward with its unattainable goals more schools are deemed to be failing, so much so that this year only 8 high schools in Illinois were deemed to have made “adequate progress.” States are creating new accountability systems that support schools and districts and provide students with the interventions they need to improve. States are also moving from measuring the credentials of teachers and leaders to measuring their effectiveness in improving student learning. These waivers will ensure this important work can advance. The Illinois State Board of Education will work with Gov. Pat Quinn to submit Illinois’ proposal early next year.

The Illinois State Board of Education is committed to making Illinois’ Pre-K to 12 system the strongest in the nation. In Illinois, we have already embarked on the following initiatives to substantially strengthen our education system: