The Iowa Department of Education is asking the federal government for a one-year freeze on the “No Child Left Behind” standards while the state works toward a permanent waiver. The request for a permanent waiver was just recently turned down, and Education Department spokesperson, Staci Hupp, says the state has the right to then request the freeze.
“If it’s approved it would keep the 2011-12 targets for what’s called adequate yearly progress determinations at the same place as the 2010-11 targets,” according to Hupp. “And the goal is to provide temporary help to schools which are held to unrealistic measures under No Child Left Behind while we work to achieve approval of Iowa’s waiver.”
Hupp says the legislature would have to take action to allow them to ask again for the permanent waiver. “Iowa’s waiver was turned down because the legislature did not give the Iowa Department of Education the statutory authority that it needed to carry out an educator evaluation system that is consistent with waiver requirements,” Hupp says.
Legislators appointed a task force study the evaluation system to make a recommendation on it for 2013. Hupp says the department would like to see the system adopted in the next legislative session so the state could reapply for the permanent waiver.
“The U.S. Department of Education held the door open in case there is future legislative action in Iowa, and that’s our hope. That we can go back with the waiver request after we have that legislative action,” Hupp says. Hupp is not sure how long it will take for the state to hear if federal officials have agreed to the one-year freeze.