Interesting article from Education Week today on the Council of Chief State School Officer's plans to flood the U.S. Department of Education with NCLB waivers based on a new accountability model.
States have been aflutter lately following U.S. DOE Secretary Arne Duncan's annoucement that states may seek waivers to exempt themselves key provisions of NCLB. This is partly a political game, designed to force the Congress to move faster in its re-authorization of the law. But CCSO has been working on a plan for a new accountability system for some time, according to the article, and plans to use the waiver provision to make sweeping changes in how school and student performance are assessed.
The model state: Kentucky, where CCSO executive director Gene Wilhoit used to be Commissioner of Education. The Next Generation Learners System (latest incarnation of "CATS") contains the CCSO's preferred components of accountability, including...
...the establishment of college-and-career-ready standards, the measurement of graduation rates, and a requirement that states help build district and school capacity to turnaround the lowest- performing schools. Schools would be given more detailed feedback than just making or not making progress under the law.
Read the full article here. It's encouraging that Kentucky continues to be an educational trendsetter for the nation.