Education News

Texas Gets Federal Waiver On No Child Left Behind

For more than a decade, schools in Texas and across the country have had to follow the federal law known as "No Child Left Behind." Schools had to make enough progress every year. Otherwise they would be labeled failing This year, that's changing in Texas.

The federal government has given the Texas Education Agency a waiver for No Child Left Behind.

Education Commissioner Michael Williams explains what that means.

“I think the fairest way to say is that there were many people that would have suggested that as much as 95 percent of our campuses would have been underperforming under AYP this year.”

AYP stands for Adequate Yearly Progress.

It’s one of the key aspects of No Child Left Behind. Schools had to make progress or face consequences. That could be extra tutoring or replacing most of the teachers

“Going forward 85 percent of the campuses in the state will have little or no adverse impact from No Child Left Behind. And so the focus will be on the bottom 15 percent of our campuses.”

Those lowest performing schools will still have to make changes to try and turn things around.

The waiver also means a big change to how schools can spend some federal money. Texas school districts will no longer have to set aside millions of dollars for private tutoring companies.

The waiver is all conditional though. Right now it’s just for this school year. The U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan told Williams in a letter that Texas still has to revamp its teacher and principal evaluations.

One thing the waiver doesn’t change is any federal standardized testing for students.

To review the official waiver request and related documents, visit here.


Laura Isensee

Laura Isensee

Education Reporter

Laura Isensee covers education for Houston Public Media, including K-12 and higher education. Previously, she was a staff reporter at The Miami Herald and contributed to South Florida’s NPR affiliate. Her work has also appeared in The Dallas Morning News, Reuters and Clarín in Argentina. Laura has won awards for...

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