Delaware has applied for federal flexibility from certain requirements of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). With federal approval, the state, districts and schools would better be able to differentiate interventions and support to meet student needs.
Secretary of Education Dr. Lillian M. Lowery accepted President Obama and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s invitation to apply because she knows the interventions, supports and requirements of districts/charter schools should be driven by data -- not solely on whether the school meets the current definition of adequate yearly progress under ESEA, also known as No Child Left Behind.
"This could be a significant opportunity for our schools,” Lowery said. “If our plan is approved, the state will get flexibility in the setting of student proficiency targets. That means schools would not be required to meet 100 percent proficiency by 2013-14 and would not be subjected to some of the current requirements, such as school improvement, corrective action and restructuring."
Rather, schools would work toward ambitious but realistic goals with the help of differentiated support from the state and their districts.
"Schools and districts also would gain flexibility with some funding, such as choice and supplemental education services required under current law,” Lowery said. “Instead they will be able to target those dollars to supports that meet their students’ needs.”
If approved, this flexibility would take effect this school year (2011-12). Federal officials expect to make a decision this spring.
Delaware’s application, submitted Tuesday, reflects the ideas and feedback collected from stakeholders across the state as well as members of the public who shared comment following a series of town hall meetings the state hosted in January.
An overview of the state’s application is available here: http://www.doe.k12.de.us/rttt/files/initiatives/onepagerSEA.pdf
Find the full application here: http://www.doe.k12.de.us/infosuites/ddoe/DelawareESEAFlexibilityRequest.pdf
Delaware Department of Education
401 Federal Street, Suite #2
Dover, Delaware 19901
Phone: (302) 735-4035
Fax: (302) 739-4654
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