Raising Academic Standards: Until We Waive Them & Keep Dollars Flowing

Caitlin Emma:

An unprecedented set of recent Education Department decisions about No Child Left Behind waivers is at the least an overreach and at the very worst illegal, a chorus of critics say.
Last week, the department declared NCLB waivers for Kansas, Oregon and Washington state “high-risk” because each state has more work to do in tying student growth to teacher evaluations – a major requirement for states that want out of the more arduous provisions of the law. And in early August, the department granted waivers to eight districts in California, the first time the department bypassed states on No Child Left Behind flexibility.
Observers and analysts say the department’s high-risk waiver decision simply isn’t allowed under federal law. And they say Education Secretary Arne Duncan broke with what he told Congress in February about a preference not to grant district waivers, which these critics think are just plain bad policy. NCLB is long overdue for reauthorization. With that renewal nowhere in sight, Duncan has granted more than 40 waivers of the law to states, D.C. and the group of California districts, freeing states from requirements such as having all students reading and doing math at grade level by the 2013-14 school year.

One thought on “Raising Academic Standards: Until We Waive Them & Keep Dollars Flowing”

  1. What is the problem with waiving the standard? Nothing! NCLB was, is, and always will be misguided and idiotic. There is probably not one politician, CEO, education reformer, journalist or other talking head that has a clue.
    I have yet to hear any pundit, left, right or middle, make any sense in the last 40 years, and reading materials back even further, I would contend that this disease has long been a model pathology.
    I would suggest that any progress in knowledge and understanding is limited to the relatively few individuals who are dedicated to learning and study and evidence, and with luck, being part of a like minded group who work together to make progress, in spite of the surrounding flotsam that make up the public discourse and institutions.
    Institutions that work only work because they end up shielding and funneling money and other resources without question and little oversight to those who actually make progress. Society and institutions may reap the benefits, but only because they did not interfere.

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