Last week, 11 states applied for waivers from many of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act’s most onerous provisions. Their applications are now online, ready to be sliced and diced by any willing wonk. (Anne Hyslop of Education Sector has already taken a cut.) We at Fordham have tried to make the task a little bit easier by posting two compilations: First, the Common Core implementation plans for all 11 states, and second, all of their accountability proposals. Both are huge files but if your plans this weekend include a lot of downtime, have at ‘em.
Personally, I’m most interested in the states’ plans around accountability. Partly that’s because this is the only part of this waiver process that I find legitimate and legal; the Department of Education has no business demanding that states adopt and implement the Common Core standards or rigorous teacher evaluations. But if it’s going to allow states to opt-out of the law’s Adequate Yearly Progress system, it certainly has the right to set boundaries around the alternatives. And partly it’s because the major sticking point in the current negotiations over ESEA reauthorization comes down to accountability, and how much leeway to give the states.