The Waive of the Future? School Accountability in the Waiver Era
The Waive of the Future? School Accountability in the Waiver Era
Published in:
Educational Researcher
January/February 2014
vol. 43 no. 1

Morgan S. Polikoff, University of Southern California
Andrew J. McEachin, North Carolina State University
Stephani L. Wrabel, University of Southern California
Matthew Duque, University of Southern California


Forty-two states and the District of Columbia have recently received waivers to the school accountability requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). As the prospects for reauthorizing the Act in the near term are dim, these new accountability systems will be law for at least several years. Drawing on a four-part framework from the measurement literature, we describe and critique the approved waiver accountability plans, comparing them to the NCLB accountability rules. We find a mixed bag—some states have made large improvements and others have not. Overall we conclude that states missed opportunities to design more effective school accountability systems that might minimize negative unintended consequences of these policies. The article concludes with suggestions for state and federal policy in light of the available literature.

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News Coverage
Analysis Finds NCLB Waivers Too Often Maintain Flawed Accountability Practices (subscription required)
Education Week, February 20, 2014

Grading the No Child Left Behind waivers
American Enterprise Institute, February 19, 2014
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