Accountability & Reporting

Elementary & Secondary Education Act Waiver

Florida was one of the first states to implement strong accountability measures for its schools, publishing school grades as early as 1999. Other states look to Florida as a model in the area of accountability.

When the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also referred to as No Child Left Behind, was enacted in 2001, it meant that Florida had two systems: the state's and a federal one.

In October 2011, the US Secretary of Education invited states to request a flexibility waiver from ESEA requirements enabling them to eliminate duplicative regulation and move to a single accountability system. Florida was one of 11 states to apply and in February 2012 the US DOE granted the waiver.

Approving the request for flexibility is the first step in a process. There are still several steps prior to implementation. The US Department of Education added criteria that need to be reviewed, requiring action by the State Board of Education as well as legislation.

In order to renew Florida's ESEA Flexibility request for 2014-15, FDOE submitted an updated flexibility application on June 4, 2014.

Florida's Flexibility Request

From U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan - Sept. 23, 2011: Many of our reform efforts to help students were not anticipated when the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) was enacted. While NCLB helped states and district increase the accountability for groups of high-need students, it inadvertently encouraged some states to set low academic standards, failed to recognize or reward growth in student learning, and did little to elevate the teaching profession or recognize the most effective teachers. Instead of fostering progress and accelerating academic improvement, many NCLB requirements have unintentionally become barriers to state and local implementation of reforms designed to raise academic achievement.

This web page contains various resources and documents that will provide you with more information about the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and the various deadlines associated with the waiver application.



Commissioner's Taskforce on Inclusion and Accountability

You'll find more information on our website related to potential changes in school accountability, including a link to resources from a Board of Education workshop about school grades under different scenarios and information from the February 28 board meeting where the board took action on the flexibility waiver.