Education Standards Slated to Become More Flexible in Mass.

Marion Herbert's picture
Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Daily operations and classroom lessons will not feel different to students returning to Massachusetts schools this fall when the No Child Left Behind waiver goes into effect.

Students will still spend weeks preparing for and then taking the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System exams, which will still very much matter.

But when the results come in, the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will determine which districts and students truly have the greatest needs.

Districts will have more accountability in closing the proficiency gaps in their schools than under the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, and struggling students will receive appropriate attention and resources.

Focus on improvement

Since 2010, the state has operated with two school accountability systems: the state’s five-level Framework for District and School Accountability and Assistance, and the requirements of No Child Left Behind, which uses the adequate yearly progress metric, or AYP.

The state’s system measures success by attainment and improvement, while No Child Left Behind considers whether or not schools achieved certain proficiency, regardless of yearly progress.

JC Considine, a spoke-sman for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, said No Child Left Behind’s goal of 100 percent proficiency for all students by 2014 was not realistic.

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