The U.S. Department of Education has approved New Hampshire’s application for a waiver from certain requirements of the No Child Left Behind law.
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan informed state officials today that their application had been accepted.
The waiver frees the state from ten different sections of the controversial education law, which calls for universal math and English proficiency by 2014.
The waiver allows the state to scrap an accountability system under which three quarters of schools would be deemed in need of improvement next year.
Heather Gage, the director of instruction for the state, says under the new system, the lowest-performing schools will be getting the most attention.
“What we’re going to be calling those are our focus and priority schools. And it allows the state to help provide those resources, or help focus those resources, on those schools that need us the most.”
All schools will still be tested annually to measure academic progress, though the state is switching from the NECAP to the new Smarter Balanced assessment.
The waiver also calls for implementing new evaluation systems for teachers and principals.
Gage says local school districts will have flexibility in creating those evaluations as long as they follow guidelines developed by the state.