Idaho's ESEA Waiver Application

Idaho's ESEA Waiver

The Idaho Department of Education received permission from the United States Department of Education to waive certain provisions under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB)(2001) specific to Sec.1111 & 1116.  This waiver,granted in 2012,  allowed Idaho to build an accountability system that is differentiated. The waiver also removed some of the sanctions in NCLB for schools not meeting all the annual measurable objectives identified through the statewide assessment.

Idaho is required to renew our waiver for 2015-2016 school year.   Idaho has meaningfully engaged and dialogued with K-12 stakeholders continuously since the submission of Idaho’s first waiver request for flexibility.  The Idaho Department of Education used a series of both face to face and web-based strategies to gather feedback from a diverse group of stakeholders across the State of Idaho.  Parents, teachers, administrators, board trustees, community groups, civil rights groups organizations, business representatives, higher education, and others had an opportunity to offer initial ideas and then provide feedback on the state’s draft waiver renewal.

The vision and mission of the new superintendent, Sherri Ybarra, is a return to local control with a certainty that student achievement occurs in the classroom at the local level.  Therefore, this current renewal reflects this major shift in the Idaho Department of Education’s vision.  The renewal demonstrates local school district generation of key components of the request for flexibility.

 A copy of the ESEA Flexibility Waiver Renewal Form 4.27.2015 can be found below in the ESEA Comment Period box.  The public is encouraged to review the edited version of the ESEA Flexibility Waiver Renewal and make comments.  In the box below is also a summary of the major changes to the waiver.  Comments can be sent to Marcia Beckman at


ESEA Waiver
ESEA Waiver Guidance

Idaho's Field Test Flexibility Waiver

In the spring of 2014, all Idaho students in grades 3-8 and 11 took the Smarter Balanced Field Test in math and English Language Arts instead of the Idaho Standards Achievement Test (ISAT). In December 2013, the Idaho State Board of Education requested flexibility from the United States Department of Education to give the Smarter Balanced Field Test in place of the ISAT. Specifically, Idaho requested a one-year waiver of some key requirements in Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA). This waiver was approved by the U.S. Department of Education on February 18, 2014 and makes the Smarter Balanced Field Test the end-of-year exam that all students in grades 3-8 and 11 are required to take in math and ELA as prescribed by both state and federal laws.