NCLB: Waivers, AMOs, and Dual Accountability Systems
A little more about NCLB waivers from the Education Trust and the Center on American Progress:
The EdTrust notes that while it did write a paper talking about the "half the gap" approach states could take, Virginia's waiver proposal and approval was always a big concern because it didn't have the same ultimate expectations for all groups. (Some who read the Washington Post story about the Virginia do-over might have been confused about the EdTrust's position.)
CAP notes that 13 states chose the gap-halving approach, compared to just three that kep the basic AYP way of doing things (AR, DE, NY) but that the real issue is the disconnect between the goals set in the NCLB waiver plans (called AMOs), which will be used for reporting to the USDE, and the real-world accountability systems that states are using, which will be used to tell parents and teachers and lawmakers. The danger here is that, as often happened in the pre-NCLB era, there will be two different sets of ratings for schools each year, with the state numbers generally getting more attention.
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