Our strong preference and focus in the ESEA flexibility process remains on working with states, including California, if it decides to seek ESEA flexibility for the upcoming school year.
While California does not currently have an ESEA flexibility application under review, we have received a waiver request from CORE, a unique consortium of California districts.
Given that the CORE districts collectively serve 1.2 million students - more than most states - we believe their request merits careful consideration.
We commend the level of work and collaboration that the CORE districts have invested in their plan to date, and are encouraged by the positive discussion among state board members regarding CORE's application.
Under Section 9401, the Department has the authority to grant district-level waivers, and we will now move CORE's application into the peer review process.
In order to receive broad accountability waivers, the CORE districts must meet a high bar, similar to the one the Department has set for states: college- and career-ready expectations for all students; differentiated accountability, including targeting the lowest-performing schools, schools with the largest achievement gaps, and other schools with performance challenges for subgroups; and teacher and principal evaluation and support systems that take into account student growth and are used to help teachers and principals improve their practices.