No Child Left Behind waiver extended for Arkansas


WASHINGTON — Arkansas will continue for another year to get some leeway in meeting requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

The U.S. Department of Education announced Thursday that Arkansas and five other states have received a one-year extension for flexibility from certain requirements of the Bush-era education reform law.

The state’s original waiver was set to expire this summer but the extension will allow it to move forward with reforms designed to improve student achievement.

“ESEA flexibility has allowed states to move beyond the one-size-fits-all mandates of NCLB, to be more innovative and to engage in continued improvement in ways that benefit educators and students,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a press release.

Assistant Education Secretary Deborah Delisle informed Arkansas Education Commissioner Tony Wood of the extension in a letter released Thursday.

“I am confident that Arkansas will continue to implement the reforms described in its approved ESEA flexibility request and advance its efforts to hold schools and school districts accountable for the achievement of all students,” she said.

In the letter, Delisle said that the Department of Education had approved some changes that Arkansas requested to its ESEA flexibility waiver but not all. Still under review are changes to the way Arkansas plans to evaluate teacher performance.