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Obama Administration agrees to extend LAUSD waiver to NCLB

LA School Report | September 25, 2015

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President Barack Obama

Los Angeles Unified and five other California school districts got welcome news today as the U.S. Department of Education extended their waiver from the No Child Left Behind law, giving them continued flexibility in how they spend millions to educate low-income students.

Known collectively as the California Office to Reform Education (CORE), the districts won the unprecedented waiver by demonstrating how they would use their federal Title I money to improve student achievement at low-performing schools.

Los Angeles Unified divided its Title I schools into six categories, ranging from Reward to Priority, with specific goals and strategies for helping to improve student achievement. These include summer school, in-school tutoring and other intervention programs and additional training for teachers and school leaders.

“As a direct result of the waiver extension, we are able to continue to invest in the students, teachers, and leaders of the Los Angeles Unified School District,” Superintendent Ramon Cortines said in a statement.

The announcement was included in a letter to the CORE districts from Ann Whalen, who oversees elementary and secondary education for the federal agency.

“My decision to renew approval of the CORE districts’ request is based on my determination that the waivers have been effective in enabling each of the CORE districts to carry out reforms to improve student achievement and that this extension is in the public interest,” she wrote. “With this renewal, the CORE districts will be able to continue implementing their plans to promote innovative, locally tailored strategies to improve educational outcomes for all students, close achievement gaps, increase equity and improve the quality of instruction.”

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