By Michele McNeil
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has a history of granting specific district-level waivers, in places such as California, Utah, and Kansas. It stands to reason, then, that a waiver granted to one district ought to be allowable for another district citing the same reasons. After all, it does not make for happy superintendents (or happy congressional delegations) to give flexibility to some folks and not others.
But recent events show growing inconsistencies in the U.S. Department of Education’s waiver policy, and some disconnect between that policy and its practice.
Last week, we told you about how the Education Department rejected a No Child Left Behind Act waiver request from a district in South Carolina that wanted to pilot the use of ACT tests in grades 3-8 and in high school, rather than the regular state exams.