LINCOLN, Neb. — The U.S. Department of Education is questioning Nebraska’s system for gauging school performance and whether it’ll comply with the new federal education law.

Nebraska submitted plans in September under the federal education law called the Every Student Succeeds Act, which replaced the No Child Left Behind law, the Lincoln Journal Star reported .

The state’s plan is based on its new system for accountability. It classifies all of Nebraska’s schools in four categories: excellent, great, good and needs improvement. The system chooses three low-performing schools from the “needs improvement” category for state intervention.

The Department of Education has questioned how the state will meet annual reporting requirements under the new education law since it hasn’t classified schools since 2015.

Nebraska Education Commissioner Matt Blomstedt said changes to testing and how it’s measured makes it difficult to reclassify annually.

“We are reporting the data each year,”Blomstedt said. “We’re just not reclassifying each year.”

He said the state is also planning to identify the lowest 5 percent high-poverty schools and create a competitive grant process for federal money available to help them.

“We were really trying to work in the space of what (the federal law) allowed,” Blomstedt said. “It wasn’t like we were trying to subvert it.”

Nebraska has until Jan. 5 to respond to the Department of Education. But Blomstedt expects the state will ask for an extension.


Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, http://www.journalstar.com