The federal government has denied Iowa’s request for a waiver from the “No Child Left Behind Act.” The Iowa Department of Education requested the waiver in February seeking an exemption from the federal rules, saying the state rules would ensure that Iowa students got a quality education.
Governor Terry Branstad issued a statement saying the failure of the exemption request “lies squarely at the feet of the Iowa Legislature.” Branstad says his educator evaluation plan would have ensured the state received the waiver.
But the statement says legislators instead chose to have a task force study the evaluation system and make recommendations for 2013. A letter from the U.S. Department of Education does indicate that the state Education Department does not have the authority to develop implement an evaluation plan, and that is why the waiver was not granted.
The governor says federal officials have left the door open to approving Iowa’s waiver request if the legislature enacts the needed education reform in the next session.