No Child Left Behind

  It's been eight years since No Child Left Behind expired and congress failed to reauthorize it, but today both of New Hampshire's senators were among the 85 who voted to overhaul the federal government's controversial education law. 

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The latest batch of national assessment tests shows New Hampshire students remaining among the highest achievers in math and reading.

The 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress shows the average scores for reading in New Hampshire holding steady compared to 2013 for both fourth graders and eighth graders. For the younger group, only one state had a higher average score than New Hampshire. For eighth graders, New Hampshire was tied with four other states at the top of the list.

Cross your fingers.

Congress is trying to do something it was supposed to do back in 2007: agree on a rewrite of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. It's not controversial to say the law is in desperate need of an update.

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New Hampshire is among seven states that have been granted extensions from certain provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act.

The federal government grants waivers from parts of the law to qualified states in exchange for state-developed plans designed to improve educational outcomes for students, close achievement gaps, increase equity and improve the quality of instruction.

An Update on No Child Left Behind

Jul 24, 2015
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Fourteen years after the implementation of the education program, the federal government attempts to rework education standards from this controversial act. We'll look at how Common Core standards and NCLB overlap, or differ, and what changes this could bring to our school systems.

File photos / NHPR


New Hampshire senators Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte are supporting a rewrite of the education law known as No Child Left Behind that aims to give power back to the states.

They joined 79 other senators Thursday in passing the bill. Both say it will help restore local control in education. The senators also supported amendments to better promote science, technology, engineering and math education and to address mental health and substance abuse issues.

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  Last week New Hampshire at long last was granted a waiver from the Bush-era education reform law, No Child Left Behind (NCLB). The federal government first announced the waivers in 2011 because of congressional inaction to reform No Child Left Behind. New Hampshire was the 39th state to be granted one.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

New Hampshire will have to wait a little longer for more flexibility from the federal education law No Child Left Behind. The US Department of Education granted three more states waivers today, but New Hampshire was not on the list.

With the addition of Alaska, Hawaii and West Virginia there are now 37 states that the DOE has exempted from many of the requirements of No Child Left Behind. Eight states, including New Hampshire, have waivers pending.

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As expected the state Department of Education today formally asked the federal government for a waiver from the No Child Left Behind law. The state's request is 96 pages long, it's a full document, but NHPR's Brady Carlson sat down with reporter Sam Evans-Brown talk about what it contains.

Brady Carlson: What does getting a waiver from No Child Left Behind actually mean?

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This week the Department of Education says it will release details of New Hampshire’s application for a waiver for flexibility from the controversial federal education law, No Child Left Behind. The DOE will release a draft on Thursday, and submit the final waiver application to the federal department of education the following week.

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The New Hampshire Department of Education says it will not yet ask the federal government  for flexibility with the requirements of No Child Left Behind, the federal education law. The DOE is gearing up to request a waiver this spring.

According to state education officials New Hampshire is not ready to ask for a waiver from the toughest testing standards required under No Child Left Behind. Paul Leather from the Department of Education says  in order to get a waiver, the state must first build a system that will evaluate teacher and principal effectiveness.

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The New Hampshire House voted to put off making a final decision on a pair of bills that would withdraw the state from No Child Left Behind, and forego $61.6 million dollars in federal funding.

House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt from Salem cited the lost money as he urged collegues to table the bills.

"There are significant and justifiable concerns about withdrawing from this program," Bettencourt said, "concerns regarding the potential loss of significant federal funds currently being received by our local school districts."

A House Committee has voted to recommend that New Hampshire pull out of No Child Left Behind.

Republican lawmakers on the House education committee cited local control and small government as reasons to withdraw the state from No Child Left Behind.

The vote was along party lines.

The dissenting democrats say they too are frustrated with the federal education laws, but are concerned about the federal money the state would lose if it withdrew from the program.

If the bill passes the state would forfeit $63 million in federal grants.