Education Commissioner Gist To Request Flexibility in No Child Left Behind Act

             The No Child Left Behind Law is a hot topic here in Rhode Island. On Monday night, education commissioner Deborah Gist is hosting a forum to get the public's feedback on the opportunity for the state to apply for a waiver that would give relief from some of the law's provisions.

             Gist says there isn't a lot of flexibility with the law, and wants to request some leverage on how the state controls a schools improvement.  The government is granting waivers if state's agree to work on closing achievement gaps and promote accountability through their own initiatives.

             Gist says, “this gives us a chance to say, what are the parts of this law that have not been helpful to Rhode Island as we've been seeking to make improvements and support our schools and how can we put something in place that would be better.”

           Eleven states submitted applications for waivers last month and commissioner Gist plans to submit an application for a waiver before the February deadline. She wants to request more flexibility in the law when it comes to determining schools that need extra attention and how to go about improving them. There is expected to be more public hearings before any plan is submitted to the U.S. Department of Education.