NEWS RELEASES 2011-12 :: FEBRUARY 29, 2012


The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) met the deadline to submit its ESEA Flexibility Request to the U.S. Department of Education (USED) that, if approved, will provide the state the flexibility in meeting certain Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) requirements, formerly known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB).

In its request, the NCDPI identified how it would ensure public school students would meet College- and Career-Ready expectations for all students, how Title I schools would be recognized for students' academic proficiency, and how the state would support effective instruction and leadership.

"Our efforts over the last four years to remodel our state's curriculum, assessments, and accountability model dovetail nicely with the request we just submitted to the USED,” State Superintendent June Atkinson said. "This request will enable us to set some rigorous and achievable goals for our students and schools to meet.”

While schools will still be measured against annual measurable objectives (AMOs) calculated and reported under ESEA, it will no longer be the "all or nothing” measure that was highly criticized as adequate yearly progress (AYP) under NCLB. Under NCLB, if one identified student subgroup at a school did not meet its proficiency goal for that academic year, the entire school would be labeled as failing AYP. "As we moved closer to the 100 percent proficiency requirement, larger numbers of schools were identified as failing. If our waiver application is granted, we will be able to target schools and students most in need of assistance,” Atkinson said.

USED Secretary Arne Duncan provided states the opportunity to voluntarily submit flexibility requests as a result of Congress' inability to reauthorize ESEA over the last four years. It will be several months before the USED completes the peer review process to determine what changes, if any, North Carolina will need to make to its request before it will be approved. If approved, the new AMOs will take effect this school year.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 160 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.