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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) today announced their support for the federal waiver recently issued to McPherson Unified School District 418 by the U.S. Department of Education.


The waiver will allow the school district to implement a locally-designed innovative plan called “C3 - Citizenship, College and Career Readiness” to ensure students learn the skills needed for college and the workplace. The waiver will also allow USD 418 to give students in grades six through twelve a series of ACT tests, which are better suited to measure students’ academic performance than federally mandated state assessment tests.


“I am proud of the work Dr. Watson and the McPherson School District have done in setting a higher standard for their accountability system for student progress,” Sen. Roberts said. “Their efforts have made them a model for the nation as the first school district in the country to receive this waiver from the Department of Education. Congratulations McPherson for breaking the mold and challenging yourselves to lead students toward citizenship, college and career readiness through tough accountability.”


“This waiver is great news for McPherson and Kansas, and sets a precedent that will resonate in school districts across the country,” Sen. Moran – a long-time critic of a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to education – said. “I commend McPherson teachers and administrators for their hard work and commitment to Kansas students. This school district and many others have no problem being held accountable; they simply ask the federal government afford them sufficient flexibility to tailor education plans to the unique needs of their students. Rather than being forced to teach to a standardized test, McPherson can now raise the bar and focus on preparing students for careers and higher education.”


The McPherson Unified School District 418, located in McPherson, Kansas, is the first school district in the country to be issued this type of waiver from certain requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act, the primary source of federal aid to K-12 education.


“This is an important day for students and faculty in McPherson,” Dr. Randy Watson, Superintendent of USD 418 said. “This confirms the work that our staff and community has been engaged in over the past several years.”


The McPherson, C3 – Citizenship, College and Career Readiness plan has established strong partnerships with Quantum Learning and ACT to develop and measure their three areas of emphasis – citizenship, college and career readiness.


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