States Awarded NCLB Waivers: Expanding Learning Time Urged as Reform Strategy
Last Thursday, President Obama announced the first ten states that will receive waivers from some of the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), giving them more flexibility to implement new accountability approaches, teacher and leader quality reforms, and school improvement strategies. This milestone in U.S. education reform provides new opportunities for states to improve high-poverty schools through implementation of expanded learning time (ELT) models.
The Obama Administration made high-quality ELT schools an important part of the design of the NCLB waiver plan. ELT is woven throughout the guidance given to states for developing their own plans, and expanded-time schools are specifically included as a whole-school alternative in places where federal funds had previously been restricted to other uses.
We are very pleased that states have seized on this landmark opportunity to use high-quality ELT to raise student achievement and close the achievement gap. NCTL has been working with the Administration and several of the waiver states on policies to support ELT, and we look forward to partnering with the states and districts on high-quality ELT implementation going forward, as well as working with states that are still in the waiver application process.