As states prepare to submit more applications for waivers from No Child Left Behind (NCLB) requirements, the U.S. Department of Education has released recommendations for strengthening their requests.

The recommendations are based on peer reviews of the 11 applications submitted in November during the first round of waivers. Applications for the second round are due on Feb. 28, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said earlier this month.

The full document can be found below. Here are some of the department's observations and suggestions:

  • Some initial applicants "did not provide strong evidence" of their consultation with other stakeholders, such as teachers unions and organizations that represent disabled students and English language learners.
  • Some applicants' proposals for their revamped accountability systems were described as overly complex and possibly difficult for parents and educators to understand.
  • Peer reviewers were also concerned about some applicants' "lack of specificity" in outlining teacher and principal evaluation systems.