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Elementary and Secondary Education Act Flexibility Waiver

New Hampshire’s ESEA Flexibility Waiver Renewal

The New Hampshire Department of Education's (NH DOE) ESEA Flexibility Waiver Renewal was approved August 6, 2015. The U.S. Department of Education's (USED) approval allows New Hampshire to continue its effort in providing an improved support and accountability system.

New Hampshire’s proposal ensures all students have the opportunity to be college- and career-ready; identifies, recognizes and supports schools in a differentiated system that acknowledges their past performance, holds them accountable for growth and provides customized support and interventions; and promotes effective instruction and leadership.

For more information, please see the waiver renewal proposal and attachments below.

Initial ESEA Flexibility Waiver and Resources

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 Significant NCLB provisions are outdated and the constraints of the law make it difficult to move ahead with important reforms.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.

The waiver includes the Department’s plan to implement the following required principles:

  1. College- and Career-Ready Expectations for All Students
  2. State-Developed Differentiated Recognition, Accountability, and Support
  3. Supporting Effective Instruction and Leadership
  4. Reducing Duplication and Unnecessary Burden

Features of New Hampshire’s waiver design includes:

  • The NHDOE’s Theory of Action
  • The state’s implementation strategy for the New Hampshire’s new mathematics and English language arts standards
  • A system of improvement and innovation networks to support educators as they seek to increase the numbers of students who are college and/or career ready
  • A new process for determining annual measurable objectives (AMOs)
  • The state’s plan to support the school’s struggling the most in New Hampshire
  • A description of the work-to-date regarding the Teacher and Principal Effectiveness Task Forces and the state’s plan to move forward.
  • The NHDOE’s initial ideas for reducing duplication and unnecessary burden

Initial Waiver Resources

Additional resources from the United States Department of Education

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New Hampshire Department of Education
101 Pleasant Street | Concord, NH | 03301-3494
Telephone: (603) 271-3494 | TDD Access: Relay NH 711