SDE: Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Flexibility Waiver Application

Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Flexibility Waiver Application

As recently allowed by the U.S. Department of Education, the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) is in the process of applying for a flexibility waiver, which will free Connecticut from adhering to specific federal requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act, 2001(NCLB). This flexibility will allow the state, its local educational agencies (LEAs), and schools to better focus on improving student learning and increasing the quality of instruction. Connecticut will be applying to receive this ESEA flexibility waiver and must submit the request by February 28, 2012.

In exchange, CSDE will have to develop a state-developed, rigorous and comprehensive plan designed to improve educational outcomes for all students, close achievement gaps, increase equity and improve the quality of instruction. This flexibility waiver is intended to build on and support the significant state and local reform efforts already under way in critical areas including:

  1. transitioning to college- and career-ready standards and assessments;
  2. developing systems of differentiated recognition, accountability, and support;
  3. evaluating and supporting teacher and principal effectiveness; and
  4. reducing duplication and unnecessary burden.

Connecticut ESEA Flexibility Request - May 24, 2012 [PDF]

Learn more about the waiver

Note: The U.S. Department of Education has extended the deadline for the submission of ESEA waiver applications to February 28th. We are happy to announce that we can also extend the timeframe for written feedback until this Friday, February 17th.  

This web page contains various resources and documents that will provide you with more information about ESEA waiver requests, other states’ applications, and the various deadlines associated with the waiver application.

  • U.S. Department of Education - ESEA Flexibility Requests and Related Documents
  • Letter from U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan 
  • ESEA Flexibility Request (Doc)
  • ESEA Flexibility Review Guidance (Doc)
  • Frequently Asked Questions (Doc)
    We want to hear from you
    In order to achieve our goal of ensuring that all students are prepared for college and career, your input is essential. We look forward to hearing your perspective in one of the following ways:
    • Read our proposed drafts and email written feedback ( by Friday, February 17 at 5:00 PM.
    • Attend an Information Session (details below) to ask questions and/or make suggestions in person.

    We will post drafts of the waiver application on the CSDE website as they are developed. We anticipate that drafts will be available here on the following dates:



    Date available

    Sections 1 and 3

    College and Career Readiness; Teacher and Principal Evaluation and Support

    February 1 [PDF]

    Section 2

    Differentiated Recognition, Support, and Accountability

    February 6 [PDF]


    Full, submitted waiver request with appendices

    February 29 [PDF]

    CSDE invites all stakeholders including members of the general public with an interest in this area to join us for an information and Public Comment Session on the Waiver application:

    • Dates and Times:
       Session 1. - February 8, 10:00 AM–12:00 PM
       Session 2. - February 8,   1:30 PM–3:30 PM
       Session 3. - February 9, 10:00 AM-12:00 PM
       Newly Added Session 4. - February 9, 6:00 PM-8:00PM
    • Location: State Education Resource Center (SERC), Middletown Library Community Room
    • Please register at: by Tuesday, February 7, 2012.

    We will seek additional public feedback as we receive questions and responses from the U.S. Department of Education on our waiver application.

  • Content Last Modified on 12/13/2013 9:25:09 AM