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Letter from the Secretary

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SD Department of Education March 2015  
DOE seeking public comment on renewal of ESEA flexibility waiver

The South Dakota Department of Education is seeking public comment on the state’s application for renewal of its ESEA Flexibility Waiver from the U.S. Department of Education. Overall, the department is proposing few substantive changes in its renewal request.

The public comment period is March 9-20.

South Dakota’s waiver consists of three components:
1) College and career ready standards and high quality assessments
2) Accountability system
3) Teacher and principal effectiveness

The department is requesting two formal amendments. The first is to remove the requirement that Priority districts participate in the Academy of Pacesetting Districts. Because many Priority districts are small, APD has become largely duplicative of the work Priority schools are already doing. Removal of this requirement shifts the focus to the local level and frees districts to better support their Focus and Priority schools.

The second amendment would extend from one year to two the timeframe for Focus school designation, allowing for both a planning year and an implementation year.

The entire waiver request has been updated to reflect progress and adjustments made in the past year.

The waiver request also expands on amendments approved in the previous waiver, including several key indicators in the School Performance Index: Attendance, College and Career Readiness, and Student Growth.

Information regarding supports for Focus and Priority schools and other Title I schools has been updated and clarified. This includes expanded descriptions of the review process for Focus and Priority schools, the role of School Support Team members, and updated timelines and requirements, in addition to the formal amendments noted above.

Click here to view a summary of the proposed waiver.

Read the waiver in its entirety here.

Beginning March 9, click here to submit public comment.

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