The Maine Department of Education received a three-year waiver allowing flexibility regarding specific requirements of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), formerly known as the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), whose reauthorization was recently debated and is being revised in Washington, D.C.
This waiver provides Maine educators and state and local leaders the flexibility needed to continue work on rigorous and comprehensive plans designed to improve educational outcomes for all students, close achievement gaps, increase equity, and improve the quality of instruction.
A press release from the Maine Department of Education outlined the importance of the waiver.
“This waiver, the first three-year waiver ever issued by US DOE, allows Maine to continue focusing resources on comprehensive, rigorous interventions in the lowest-performing schools, while ensuring that all low-achieving students have the support they need to catch up to their peers. ESEA flexibility also has an effect of energizing teacher and principal effectiveness work across Maine and puts the focus on creating feedback systems that show the impact teachers and principals are having on student learning and shine a light on best practices to support teachers’ development.
“At the heart of the State’s continued efforts is a system of differentiated recognition, accountability and support for Maine’s Title I-served schools, distinguished not just by student proficiency but also progress. As a result, Maine’s mission is to cut in half the percentage of non-proficient students at each school in the coming years. This is done through the continued implementation of the Maine Learning Results, a set of high standards geared to help Maine students be career and college ready.”