By Alyson Klein
Summer starts this weekend, but that doesnt mean that U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and company get to kick back and work on their tans. The department has a long and wonky to-do list for the summer and beyond, including some overdue homework assignments.
And some key, still-pending announcements could have big implications for extensions of states waivers from pieces of the No Child Left Behind Act.
Here’s a look at what to watch for:
• Some sort of peer-review process or other criteria for examining state assessments. This is a really big deal, in part because states must use tests aligned to standards that will prepare students for college and the workforce in order to keep their waivers from many of the mandates of the NCLB law. A handful of states were originally participating in one of two consortia developing these tests, but have since dropped out. The department has asked these states to submit a new “high quality plan” for developing other assessments. Peer review would also apply to the consortia tests, and presumably, any assessments for waiver states that have ditched the Common Core State Standards altogether (like Indiana).