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“You can imagine my shock and sadness at hearing the news of the district’s decision to abandon its hard-earned waiver from the failed and punitive No Child Left Behind law. Equally distressing is the lack of discourse over what our children will lose, and the lack of outrage, empathy and courage from those in a community whose sole focus should be on protecting and advocating for the best interests of children. By giving up the No Child Left Behind waiver, here is what the children of Sacramento will lose:
• Sacramento City Unified will lose flexibility over the use of $4 million to support our most disadvantaged students.Roughly $4 million is wasted each year on ineffective supplemental education service providers – tutors approved by the state – who are not accountable to the district and over which Sacramento City Unified has no direct supervision. With the waiver, district schools and teachers could have used these dollars much more effectively to expand engaging after-school programs and offer summer experiences filled with civic and community engagement such as Summer of Service, and more.Without the waiver Sacramento City Unified no longer has the flexibility to give these students what they need and deserve – and families should be outraged.
• Sacramento City Unified will lose the ability to remove the label of “failure” that No Child Left Behind attached to three-quarters of Sacramento schools.NCLB labeled these schools failures because they did not reach every annual goal that the law set. But NCLB is a misguided and ineffective federal policy that labels students, schools and teachers based on unachievable and unrealistic goals. It doesn’t take into account children’s academic growth or other pertinent measures that demonstrate how greatly Sacramento City Unified schools have improved.Without the waiver, the dark cloud of “failure” will once again cloak Sacramento schools.”