ESEA Flexibility


To assist states as they continue to pursue opportunities for ESEA flexibility, the U.S. Department of Education released in January 2013 the following series of informational brochures and fact sheets related to ESEA Flexibility:

USED also updated their Flexibility website.  


Seven states (AL, AK, HI, ME, NH, ND, and WV), Puerto Rico, and the Bureau of Indian Education submitted applications for ESEA Flexibility in September.

For more information, go to  

More than half of the states have received waivers from at least some provisions of ESEA. 

Idaho's application for ESEA Flexibility was approved October 17 and Nevada's application was approved August 8.  

Six states and the District of Columbia's applications for ESEA Flexibility were approved July 19 (AZ, KS, MI, MS, OR, and SC). 

Two applications were approved July 6 (WA, WI); five applications were approved June 29 (AR, MO, SD, UT, VA); eight applications were approved May 29 (CT, DE, LA, MD, NY, NC, OH, RI); and eleven applications were approved February 9 (CO, FL, GA, IN, KY, MA, MN, NJ, OK, TN, NM).

You may access all the flexibility applications HERE on the ED website, along with approval letters and peer review notes for states with approved applications.

Seven states received a one-year freeze on their annual measurable objectives (AMOs) while they work on their full waiver applications (AL, AK, ID, IA, KS, ME, WV).

Six states  have not applied for ESEA Flexibility at this time. 


ESEA Flexibility Toolkit - Principle 3

Supporting Effective Instruction and Leadership

This toolkit was prepared in January 2012, in response to the first round of applications for ESEA Flexibility.  The toolkit is offered as a way to help states think broadly about their leadership in designing systems of educator evaluation, using the ESEA Flexbility Request process as a template for consideration.  Click on the icons below for considerations, examples, pertinent sections of the ESEA Flexibility Review Guidance, and to upload more information. 


Theory of Action

In your request for ESEA Flexibility, you will want to demonstrate your "theory of action," or the specific pathway along which your system of educator evaluation and support will contribute to the  overall goal of improved instruction and improved student achievement.  This section includes graphical representations of the system of educator effectiveness.


System of Evaluation

Your request for ESEA Flexibility must describe the system of teacher and principal evaluation that you are developing or have implemented and the system must include several key features.


System of Support

Your request for ESEA Flexibility must describe the system of teacher and principal support that you are developing or have implemented and the system must include several key features.



Your request must demonstrate how will you meaningfully engage teachers and principals and others in both the design and the implementation of your system.



Your request must demonstrate how will you support LEAs with implementation (section 3.B). 



Your request must display your timelines for design and implementation and there are certain milestones you must be able to reach.  



You must describe the resources (financial, human capital, etc.) you will be using for your system design and implementation. 


Leadership and EvaluationEducator Evaluation HandbookTeacher/Principal EvaluationPrincipal and Teacher EvaluationProfessional DevelopmentEducator EffectivenessEducator Standards and AssessmentsIMPACT Performance AssessmentDE Performance Appraisal SystemTeacher and Principal Evaluation SystemsTeacher and Leader EffectivenessRT3 Great Teachers and Leaders pageTeacher Performance Evaluation Task ForcePerformance Evaluation Advisory CouncilPutting Students FirstEducator QualityProfessional DevelopmentHighly Effective Teaching and LearningEducator EffectivenessMaryland Council for Educator EffectivenessEducator EvaluationEducator EvaluationEducator ExcellenceEducator QualityTeacher and Principal Performance FrameworkTeachers and Leaders CouncilNH Task Force on Effective TeachingEffective Teaching Task ForceTeacher Effectiveness ProjectExcellent Educators for NJProfessional DevelopmentTeacher EffectivenessOhio Educator StandardsTeacher and Leader EffectivenessProfessional DevelopmentTeacher Evaluation ProjectEducator EvaluationADEPT – Educator EvaluationTeacher StandardsTeacher and Principal EvaluationEducator EffectivenessProfessional DevelopmentTeacher EvaluationTeacher and Principal Evaluation PilotTeacher Evaluation PilotEducator EffectivenessProfessional Teaching Standards Board 



USED has released two addendums to their FAQs, which focus on other Flexibliity Principles.  They are available on the USED Flexibility page. 

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