Pennsylvania receives NCLB waiver

Posted on Friday, 9/6/2013 5:26 PM

Education is important to Pennsylvania's leaders, which is why the state sought relief from the U.S. Department of Education regarding its No Child Left Behind requirements. Recently, the Keystone State was informed that it had been awarded a waiver from NCLB. Ultimately, this move is designed to help boost student achievement in Pennsylvania.

Good news for Pennsylvania
While NCLB was created to encourage states to set ambitious and achievable education goals, many states found it difficult to meet the act's requirements. As a result, President Barack Obama made it possible for states to apply for NCLB waivers as long as they made a commitment to overhaul their approach to instruction in a way that would benefit students.

According to the department's website, waivers are awarded to states that provide plans that will boost the quality of instruction provided, close achievement gaps, increase equity and improve students' educational outcomes. Pennsylvania has done just that and, as a result, had its waiver request granted.

"This is welcome news for students, parents, taxpayers, educators and public schools across the state," said Governor Tom Corbett in a statement. "This waiver allows Pennsylvania to focus on improving schools by directing resources to areas that help students academically succeed. We now have a better way of guiding improvement efforts in schools by establishing ambitious, yet attainable, goals."

How the waiver will help
The waiver will help students throughout Pennsylvania in three ways, according to the state's Department of Education. First, the relief schools receive will support teachers and other education officials in a way that helps them improve the work they do. Second, it helps develop recognition and accountability standards for the state's public schools. Finally, it helps ensure K-12 students are prepared for their collegiate and professional careers.

Whether Pennsylvania educators choose to update their textbooks or invest in new technology, such as student software, it's clear their state cares about education - something U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has taken note of.

"Forty one states and the District of Columbia can't wait any longer for education reform," said Duncan in a press release announcing Pennsylvania's waiver. "A strong, bipartisan reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act remains the best path forward in education reform, but as these states have demonstrated, our kids can't wait any longer for Congress to act."


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