CORE Waiver Summary By Darryl White


The Core Waiver replaces George Bush’s NCLB Initiative



CORE’s waiver is rooted in shared learning and responsibility for student achievement. It is designed to instill a new collective and individual moral imperative to prepare all students for successful futures—nested in the specific needs of California students, with an all-encompassing focus on eliminating disparities between subgroups. This plan is grounded in the concept of moral imperative highlighted in the work of Michael Fullan,


With this waiver, CORE does not seek to escape FROM accountability. Instead, CORE is asking for a waiver INTO a new system with a higher level of shared responsibility and accountability but propelled by the right drivers to achieve the system’s ultimate purpose: all students prepared for college and careers, and the elimination of disparity and disproportionality on multiple critical measures of student success.


The CORE waiver proposal is built upon four foundational goals that align to, and extend beyond the three principles of the waiver guidelines:


1.      College- and Career-Ready Expectations for All Students;

2.      A focus on collective responsibility, accountability, and action that emphasizes capacity building over accountability;

3.      The development of Intrinsic Motivation for Change through Differentiated Recognition, Accountability, and Support for Schools; and

4.      Focused capacity-building for Effective Instruction and Leadership.


Poor students, African Americans and Latinos, and English learners are overrepresented among students scoring at the lowest levels and underrepresented among the highest scoring. Other measures of student achievement—including dropout and graduation rates, completion of the a–g courses required for eligibility to the state’s four-year universities, and college admissions—reveal similar achievement patterns between these groups of students and their peers. These results are important because they predict later success, including students’ ability as adults to secure jobs that pay a living wage.


Core Beliefs

1.      CORE desires to ensure high levels of learning for all students and set a precedent for real reform within the moral imperative.

2.      CORE desires to change educational culture from one of individual accountability based on a narrow assessment portfolio to a system of accountability that holistically values the many additional factors that contribute to ensuring school and district conditions that produce high levels of learning for all students.

3.      CORE Districts desire flexibility, not to avoid accountability, but to embrace and expand it to ensure that the right drivers are included.

4.      CORE desires to build a new system of accountability – the School Quality Improvement System – rooted in a moral imperative to educate all children and engineered on a foundation of transparent data sharing and mutual accountability.



Principle 1 – College and Career Ready Expectations for All Students


A.    Adopt College and Career-Ready Expectations for All Students

B.     Transition to College and Career Ready Standards

C.     Develop and Administer Annual Statewide, Aligned, high Quality Assessments that Measure Student Growth (STAR sunsets in 2014)

D.    Principle 1 Must Do’s

1.      Develop district CCSS instructional plans

2.      Identify ELD benchmark learning targets

3.      Develop professional development plan for teachers i.e., CCSS and SBAC Preparation and implementation

4.      Full district transition to CCSS and SBAC by 2014 – 2015


Principle 2 – State Developed Differentiated Recognition Accountability and Support


A.    College and Career Ready Graduates -  Academic, Social and School Culture Domains

1.      Dual Data Collection

2.      School Quality Improvement Index

3.      Achievable/Annual Measureable Objectives (AMO’s)

4.      Reward Schools

5.      Priority Schools

6.      Focus Schools

7.      Provide Incentives and Supports

B.     Principle 2 Must Do’s

1.      Share District Data i.e., formative and summative, absenteeism, discipline, special education, and college and career readiness indicators

2.      Employ defined interventions i.e., coaching teams, closures or charter restructuring

3.      Monitor school and district performance and identify focus, priority and reward schools

a.       AMO’s in the three domains

b.      Aggregate data and Identify gaps, growth and achievement


Principle 3 – Supporting Effective Instruction and Leadership


A.    Teacher Administrator Evaluations

B.     Principle 3 Must Do’s

1.      Ensure the teacher/administrator evaluation is aligned to common standards

a.       Include student learning as a significant component

b.      Aligned to the pedagogical shifts required by CCSS

c.       Ensure frequency of data collection to sufficiently influence evaluations

d.      Employ ratings that differentiate effectiveness by at least four categories

2.      Pilot new design by 2014 school year

3.      Share aggregate evaluation system data, reports and evidence regarding progress in increasing student outcomes and closing the achievement gap

a.       Track and report teacher and principal data by performance level by the 2015 school year