U.S. Department of Education Approves NCLB Flexibility Extension Request for Louisiana

Archived Information

U.S. Department of Education Approves NCLB Flexibility Extension Request for Louisiana

December 8, 2014

The Obama Administration announced today that Louisiana has received a one-year extension for flexibility from certain provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB).

“America’s schools and classrooms are undergoing some of the largest changes in decades—changes that will help prepare our students with the critical thinking and problem-solving skills that tomorrow’s economy will require,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. “This extension will allow the states to continue the critical work of implementing the bold reforms they developed to improve achievement for all students.”

The law has been due for Congressional reauthorization since 2007. In the absence of reauthorization, President Obama announced in September 2011 that the Administration would grant waivers from parts of the law to qualified states, in exchange for state-developed plans designed to improve educational outcomes for all students, close achievement gaps, increase equity and improve the quality of instruction. The one-year extension of ESEA flexibility allows states to continue moving forward on the ambitious work they began with their initial flexibility requests.

Louisiana has implemented education reforms that go above and beyond the requirements in ESEA. For example:

  • To support educators statewide, the Louisiana Department of Education has revised its support structure by clustering school districts into several Network Teams comprised of former Louisiana teachers, principals, and superintendents. The Network Team work prioritized six key focus areas: 1) School Leader and Teacher Learning Targets, 2) Assessment and Curriculum, 3) School and Teacher Collaboration, 4) Educator Observation and Feedback, 5) Pathways to College and Career, and 6) Aligned Resources. All of these actions are done in concert with district leadership teams to ensure districts take the role in driving district and school level change efforts.

Forty-two states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico currently have ESEA flexibility, 34 of which expired this summer. Thirty-four states: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin and the District of Columbia have been granted extensions since July 3.

These one-year extensions expire at the end of the current school year, and the Department is offering renewals to states that want to extend this flexibility and continue the progress they've seen in the last three years. The guidance for renewal requests can be found here. The Obama Administration remains committed to working with Congress toward a strong, bipartisan reauthorization of ESEA.