The New Hampshire Department of Education (NHDOE) is about to seek an Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Flexibility Waiver from the United States Department of Education (USED). There will be ten waivers included as part of the larger application. By submitting this application the NHDOE will request flexibility through waivers of ESEA requirements and their associated regulator, administrative, and reporting requirements.
No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the current version of the federal ESEA, has served as a catalyst for constructive debate and action on educational issues such as school and district performance, teacher quality, English language acquisition, and choice options for students. However, the United States Congress has not acted on the long overdue reauthorization of ESEA. Significant NCLB provisions are outdated and the constraints of the law make it difficult to move ahead with important reforms. Because of the delay in reauthorization, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has invited states to submit waivers to ESEA provisions and requirements.
The NHDOE has received widespread support of the waiver application, working extensively with multiple stakeholders, as well as the New Hampshire State Board of Education endorsement of it. Here in New Hampshire, we have approached the waiver process from the perspective that anything we do must be consistent with our unique local control character. Recent conversations with Secretary Duncan and others at the USED have encouraged us to move forward with this abiding principle.
Parties interested in seeing more may contact Trisha Allen at the NHDOE to view a copy of the waiver application or click on the link below. Should you require further information, please contact Deputy Commissioner Leather at Paul.Leather@doe.nh.gov.