Trull, S. (2015). THE TITLE WAIVE: A POLICY AND LEGAL ANALYSIS OF THE 50 STATES’ ESEA WAIVERS AND THEIR IMPLICATIONS FOR FEDERALISM AND ADMINISTRATIVE LAW MAKING IN EDUCATION POLICY. Unc Charlotte Electronic Theses And Dissertations.
The aim of this dissertation is to provide a critical analysis of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Flexibility Waivers administered by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan since 2012. As a function of federalism, local school policy has traditionally been under the control of state and local government. However, with the implementation of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) there was a shift in the role of the federal government in education policy. As a result of the imminent failure of almost all schools in every state to meet the goals of NCLB, which would trigger a number of adverse consequences, and the desire of the executive branch to implement new school policy, Duncan announced the issuance of Elementary and Secondary Education Act Flexibility waivers (ESEA Waivers) in 2011. This dissertation will discuss how the failure of NCLB led to the ESEA Waivers, and will examine the waivers through the lens of cooperative and coercive federalism. Given the sea of change in education policy instigated by NCLB, the waivers have the potential to initiate another major shift in education policy. Yet a comprehensive cataloging of each state’s waiver approval status and policy changes implemented for the purpose of waiver approval, has not yet been done. The first goal of this study is to content analyze and catalog each of the 50 states’ status in regards to their ESEA flexibility waiver and the states’ major policy changes in three identified policy areas. The second goal of the dissertation will be to analyze the waivers through the lens of cooperative and coercive federalism as policymaking tools. To achieve the second goal,the study will be to provide both a policy analysis of the waivers as guided by the federalism literature and a legal analysis of the waivers as outlined by prior case law. The dissertation will conclude with the overarching policy implications of the waivers and recommendations as they pertain to the current state of federal education policy in the United States.