Thursday, December 27, 2012

Article - State may lose 'No Child Left Behind' waiver bid

Article - State may lose 'No Child Left Behind' waiver bid

So it appears that California will not be granted a NCLB waiver.

I have actually read multiple articles on the subject, and I chose to share this one because it sums up my frustration with California public education with the following quotes.

Let's starts with CA's top education leader not appearing to know why the request was denied.

I look forward to thoroughly examining the rationale the administration provides for its decision and will continue to explore every avenue for providing California’s schools and students the relief they deserve,” Torlakson said in a statement.
However, the same article explains.
After missing two deadlines for waivers, California in June submitted a last-minute, customized exemption from the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as No Child Left Behind is formally known. The state said even though it did not comply with the specifics of some waiver requirements, it was adhering to them in principle.
Am I the only one that is concerned that the folks leading our state appear surprised that an application that missed two deadlines that did not meet specific requirements would be denied? I wonder how many principals or superintendents in this state send applications that miss deadlines and do not comply with specific provisions can expect different results?

This issue is very complicated and multi-faceted. My fear is that with anything emotionally charged as education in politics, it will get watered down and over-simplified to the usual "are you for or against teachers?" debate that it always ends up becoming.

For example, one of the main provisions that was not fully endorsed by California is tying teacher evaluations to test performance. Like most things NCLB, the specifics on how this done is left for the states to decide so long as it fits into federal parameters. This is already getting attention from the anti-testing crowd.

However, my questions are more pragmatic.

What are the consequences of not getting the waiver?

Could there have been a way to meet deadlines and meet the provisions in a way that was agreeable and reasonable, or will it always be a black-and-white, mindless, Fox news-style debate?

At least EdWeek offers a certain level of pragmatic debate on the topic, especially as it relates to the underlying politics.

Will California always choose to decide to be a rebel and that it does everything "right" without exploring the effectiveness of states with better education funding and educational outcomes?

More importantly, how many children will get caught in the cross-hairs of political agendas?


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