SALT LAKE CITY – The U.S. Department of Education approved a one-year extension for Utah’s waiver from the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which means the state does not have to follow some requirements established by the No Child Left Behind Act.
According to a press release from the Utah State Board of Education, the approval was made known Friday and comes after the state board voted unanimously in August to reapply for the waiver under amended terms.
The board included several clarifications to the original waiver, which was granted in 2012.
According to the press release: “Among them, Utah asserts its ‘absolute and exclusive right’ to modify Utah Core Standards, SAGE assessments, the Utah Comprehensive Accountability System, and its own teacher and principal evaluations systems without approval from or sanction by the U.S. Department of Education.”
David L. Crandall, State Board of Education Chair, stated in the press release that the approval came about through the efforts of several organizations.
“We believe the waiver approval affirms our state autonomy while removing the more onerous aspects and requirements of NCLB,” Crandall stated. “We appreciate the joint efforts of the Utah State Office of Education staff, Board Members and Governor Herbert in working to gain approval of this amended application.”
The release states that the board received hundreds of comments from the public regarding the decision to apply for renewal of the waiver. They released a statement during the time of the vote, which is reproduced below.
“In deliberating whether or not to apply for a renewal of the waiver, members of the Board have listened carefully to parents, educators, and policymakers. Additionally, the Board has researched the issue through its legal counsel and staff. This has been a difficult decision and not one that any on the Board has taken lightly.”