Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Russ on Reading: Arne Duncan to Washington State, "No Waiver for You!"

Russ on Reading: Arne Duncan to Washington State, "No Waiver for You!":



Arne Duncan to Washington State, "No Waiver for You!"




Secretary of Education Arne Duncan's decision to rescind the NCLB waiver from Washington state is an act of such monumental stupidity that it would be laughable, if it did not have the potential for such a negative impact on children, parents and teachers. Arne is in a snit because the Washington state legislature failed to pass a law tying teacher evaluation to standardized test scores, one of the conditions of this waiver.

Let's back up a little to gain a full appreciation of this ludicrous action. Everyone with any knowledge of the Bush era No Child Left Behind law knows that the goals laid out in that law were impossible to meet. The law requires schools to meet "adequate yearly progress" (AYP) toward proficiency in language arts and math as measured by standardized tests for a variety of student sub-groups including minority students, special education students and English language learners. The percentage of students required to meet AYP steadily increased across ten years and is 100% for 2014.

Obviously, a target of 100% proficiency was and is pie in the sky. No one could reach it and everyone knew it, including the crafters of the law who said the goals were "aspirational." That is why so many states were anxious to 
Russ on Reading: Arne Duncan to Washington State, "No Waiver for You!":

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