The act has been due for Congressional reauthorization since 2007. In the absence of reauthorization, Obama an-nounced in September 2011 the administration would grant waivers from parts of the law to qualified states, in ex-change for state-developed plans designed to improve educational outcomes for all students, close achievement gaps, increase equity and improve the quality of instruction. The one-year extension of ESEA flexibility allows the states to continue moving forward on the ambitious work they began with their initial flexibility requests.
Since fall 2011, Delaware, Georgia, Minnesota, New York and South Carolina have implemented education reforms that go far beyond the act’s rigid, top-down requirements.
o Through ESEA flexibility, the state created a comprehensive platform for school improvement, accountability, teacher effectiveness and communication that creates a road map for schools to significantly improve student achievement.
o It added student performance in social studies and science to its statewide accountability system to provide an enriched and more complete picture for each school’s accountability score.
o It created a professional development program with a mix of online and in-person training to support teachers in implementing new college- and career-ready standards, and established online forums to help teachers across the state share resources, lesson plans and best practices.