Indiana: Feds delayed No Child Left Behind report

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The State Board of Education and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction are once again at odds with one another.

This time, the bottom line could cost Indiana school districts hundreds of millions of dollars.

The U.S. Department of Education has already put Indiana on notice. The state needs to substantiate its application for a waiver from the Federal No Child Left Behind law.

Indiana Department of Education officials say federal monitors delayed releasing a report expressing concerns over the state's efforts to maintain its No Child Left Behind waiver.

Assistant Superintendent Danielle Shockey said Indiana originally was promised the report 45 days after U.S. Department of Education monitors flew to the state last August. However, the report was not delivered to the state until late last month.

Federal officials placed Indiana on a "conditional" status last month and gave state officials 60 days to submit an amended waiver, making the deadline June 30. They cited concerns in monitoring low-performing schools and teacher evaluations, along with the decision to exit national Common Core standards.

At stake is local flexibility in how Indiana schools can spend $266 million in federal money.

Members of the State Board of Education grilled education officials about the federal waiver during a tense and lengthy meeting Tuesday.

"Seems to me the Department of Education has brought to our attention the schools that have been struggling for many years. We were not giving any attention to it and they called us on it," said Indiana Board of Education member Daniel Elsener.

"The department has done it's full diligence and takes full responsibility for making Indiana compliant with the waiver requirements," said State Superintendent Glenda Ritz.

The meeting came after the report that warned Indiana that it could lose its waiver unless changes are made to comply with federal requirements. That could mean losing federal education funding.

The report found that Indiana was not meeting expectations on several items, including monitoring, technical assistance for students with disabilities, community outreach, transition to implement college- and career-ready standards, teacher/principal evaluations and developing high-quality assessments.

State education officials say the federal report doesn't take new education standards into account.

No Child Left Behind aims to make every child proficient in math, reading and science.

Indiana was among several states that applied for a waiver from the law in 2011. The Indiana Dept. of Education said that Indiana is one of 23 states with conditions on the waiver.

The waiver frees the state from having to comply with NCLB's "adequate yearly progress" goals. But in the meantime, Indiana set its own goal of requiring every school to earn an "A."