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GOP members of Congress request GAO study of USDE waivers

Teach the Vote
Teach the Vote

Date Posted: 8/14/2014

Senator Lamar Alexander, Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education Labor and Pensions, and Representative John Kline, Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce, sent a letter to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) on Tuesday requesting that the GAO conduct a study of the Department of Education's Early and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) waivers. The letter primarily focuses on the Department's approval, denial, renewal and revocation of waivers. They ask the GAO to study the criteria used for determination, the changes states have made to comply, the average time, resources and legislative action required to seek and maintain approval, and some of the requirements surrounding implementation of the teacher and principal evaluation systems. Texas has a received a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) and unveiled its new teacher and principal evaluation system in May. Approximately 65 school districts will pilot the program during the coming school year. Currently, the evaluation system is planned to be implemented statewide in the 2015-2016 school year, but the Texas Commissioner of Education is seeking an extension from the Department of Education that would most likely add an additional pilot year to the implementation process. At ATPE's request, a bipartisan group of 22 Congressmen in the Texas delegation also sent a letter to the USDE supporting an extension for Texas. Visit Teach the Vote's educator evaluation resource page for more information on this topic.


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