Education waivers could leave behind at-risk students

Lauren Williams's picture
Thursday, August 29, 2013

Millions of at-risk students could fall through the cracks as the Education Department gives states permission to ignore parts of No Child Left Behind, according to a study education advocates released Tuesday.

The Education Department has been giving some states waivers from the education law's requirements, including those to collect and publish data about students and then use the results to pinpoint problem schools. The resulting patchwork of rules — from Miami to Seattle — has given states more freedom to carry out plans to boost education but has allowed almost 2,300 schools to shed their label of seriously troubled, according to numbers compiled at the Campaign for High School Equity.

"It appears to us that waivers could lead to fewer students of color receiving the support they need," said Rufina Hernandez, executive director for the Campaign for High School Equity.

Her coalition of education reformers, civil rights activists and policy analysts studied the 34 states and the District of Columbia that had received waivers from No Child Left Behind before April.

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