Education News

Texas Gets Conditional Waiver On No Child Left Behind

Federal authorities want all Texas school districts to use new teacher evaluations.

 After two years of negotiations, the U.S. Department of Education has given Texas a waiver on a key education law, known as No Child Left Behind.

That gives Texas public schools a pass on the law’s requirements. But there’s a caveat.

Federal authorities want Texas has to make sure schools are using new teacher and principal evaluations by January. That includes using student test scores to measure teachers.

Those teacher evaluations have been an ongoing fight that’s held up Texas’ waiver and now put it on a “high risk” list. Only one other state is on the list.

State Education Commissioner Michael Williams said in a statement that he won’t force local school districts to use any specific teacher evaluation. He said that he doesn’t have that authority and that Texas believes in local control of schools.

It’s not clear how the standoff over teacher evaluations will end.

Without a waiver for the federal No Child Left Behind law, nearly all of Texas school districts could face tough sanctions, such as restructuring. And Texas could lose billions of federal dollars for low-income students.

Here’s the letter

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