Arkansas Education Commissioner Dr. Tom Kimbrell addressed the SBE about the state’s request for a waiver from AYP requirements of NCLB.
“We are in the process of working through applying for the waiver,” Kimbrell said. “Our plan is in November and December to travel around the sate to have conversations with community leaders, teachers, and others. Our goal will be to submit the application in February. We have been through numerous webinars with USDOE and the Council of Chief State School Officers. We’ll be looking at options available as we develop a new accountabilty program. It’s not going to be an easy process. There are a lot of hoops, a lot of writing, a lot of explanations, a lot of meetings. But we don’t think it’s fair to our children and teachers to move to different set of standards and hold accountable to an old set of standards. We are moving forward. I think it’s a good move. When we are in your area we sure would like you to be a part of the process. There will be five regional meetings. What happens if there is no growth [in low performing schools]? Do we restrict how they spend their federal dollars? Those are the questions we want to ask. In order to get waiver we have to develop a unique comprehensive plan.”