NCLB target freeze
From the desk of Tom Downs
Iowa Association of School Boards
July 2, 2012
The Iowa Department of Education has received approval for a one-year freeze of the target increases that schools are held to under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, according to a news release issued this morning. Iowa’s application for a waiver from NCLB was temporarily denied because the US Department of Education (USDE) said that Iowa’s teacher/leader evaluation process does not meet the department’s objectives for approval of the waiver.
IASB reaffirms its support for the waiver to be unconditionally approved. We applaud the efforts on the part of the Iowa DE to get the freeze approved, but it is still important for the governor and legislature to work with the Iowa DE to secure approval of the waiver.
The freeze gives schools a one-year grace period without an additional increase in the percentage of students required to be proficient in reading and mathematics. The targets vary by grade level and subject but, according to the Iowa DE, in most cases they are now set at about 80 percent and would have been increased by about seven percent had the target freeze been denied.
No Child Left Behind requires public schools and districts to meet Annual Yearly Progress targets for the overall student population and for demographic subgroups in grades 3-8 and grade 11. Larger schools serving the highest number of disadvantaged students are the most likely to be labeled as “failures” under NCLB, which mandates that 100 percent of students meet grade-level standards in reading and math by 2014.