Alabama students are officially headed back to school — and a big change may soon be headed their way. State education officials have decided to opt out of the No Child Left Behind Act. Instead of Adequate Yearly Progress standards, they’ve created their own rating system dubbed “Plan 2020.” And officials say this plan will better serve the students and teachers of Alabama.
No Child Left Behind
The US Department of Education has granted Mississippi a waiver from some of the provisions of the federal No Child Left Behind Law. Mississippi is now one of 32 states no longer required to have all students proficient in Reading and Math by 2014. But new flexibility was exchanged for new policy.
As part of the state’s application for a waiver from some aspects of the federal No Child Left Behind law, Mississippi schools are changing the way they look at minorities and “special populations” such as students with disabilities and English Language Learners (ELL) whose numbers are sharply rising across the state.
Teacher evaluations are controversial in many parts of the country and the South is no exception. But in Mississippi, every public-school teacher and principal will soon be plugged into an evaluation system that’s being implemented largely without public scrutiny.
Mississippi is often cited as having the worst education system in America. With the incentive of a waiver from certain aspects of the No Child Left Behind law (NCLB),the federal government is pressuring the Mississippi Department of Education to start turning things around and ramp up hands-on support for the state’s struggling schools.
More than 60 percent of Louisiana’s school districts made AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress), but districts are finding it much harder to close the achievement gap.
Spring means standardized testing for most public school students. In Tennessee, the TCAP test, an annual assessment of students’ skills at certain grade levels, has an unprecedented impact. TCAP scores will now count in students’ final grades for the school year.
Nashville public school officials are expanding a unique program to gradually convert low-performing schools to charter schools, with help from Tennessee’s first charter management organization. The plan is endorsed by state officials and part of Nashville’s aggressive effort to improve student achievement in the bottom 5% of schools– after the waiver of No Child Left Behind.