Secretary of Education Provides Criteria for NCLB Waivers

DALLAS—February 22, 2012—In a February 9, 2012 press release, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan confirmed that, to get flexibility from No Child Left Behind (NCLB) provisions, states must adopt and have a plan to implement college and career-ready standards. States must also create comprehensive systems of teacher and principal development, evaluation, and support that include factors beyond test scores, such as principal observation, peer review, student work, or parent and student feedback. Learning Forward’s Learning School Alliance is poised to assist campus-based leadership teams from the 11 affected states and beyond by helping to strengthen educator performance through continuous professional learning.

The Learning School Alliance is a professional learning laboratory for schools committed to collaborative professional learning with the educators in their school and other schools across North America. The goal of the Learning School Alliance is to create environments where professional learning is embedded in the job, and both teachers and school leaders hold collective responsibility for student success. By providing tools and materials, coaching and facilitation, a dedicated website and learning platform, and face-to-face learning sessions at national conferences, the Learning School Alliance advances the skills and professional practice of participating educators.

“Since NCLB’s passage, school systems have realized that providing more resources to schools, improving the curriculum, and assigning more talented administrators will not, by themselves, increase student achievement,” said Learning Forward’s Executive Director Stephanie Hirsh. “Teacher performance also has to improve. The only way to achieve this result is for educators to engage more frequently and systematically in quality professional learning. It is fundamental to increasing student performance.”

Applications are now being accepted for the 2012-13 Learning School Alliance. In addition to a wealth of tools, participating school teams receive four complimentary registrations for Learning Forward’s Summer Conference, access to Learning Forward resources, and more. The application deadline is March 15, 2012. Find additional details and an applications here The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations endorses Learning Forward’s Learning School Alliance and provides funding support for schools participating in the program.