By Tim Reed
In response to a thunderous call for relief from the states, the Obama Administration announced today that waivers for various aspects of the No Child Left Behind law will be unilaterally issued to states in return for Administration-favored “reforms.”
Complete details of the plan will be available in September, but will most likely address the requirement that 100 percent of students be proficient in core standards by 2014.
Waivers for requirements will be issued in return for “reforms” such as raising student achievement or implementing school improvement plans. Earlier in the year, President Obama called on Congress to deliver NCLB reform legislation to his desk by September. With that deadline rapidly approaching and “no clear road to reform” according to White House domestic policy adviser Melody Barnes, Arne Duncan and the Department of Education are now focusing on mitigating the damage of onerous, Bush-era, NCLB regulations.
NEA President Dennis Van Roekel said in a statement released Monday morning, “What we need now is teacher-led and student-focused comprehensive reform instead of making states jump through more hoops. The Administration should be leading efforts that support all students and schools by providing real relief from parts of the law that everyone acknowledges simply don’t work.”
The complete statement from NEA President Dennis Van Roekel is below.
Van Roekel urges Administration to focus on student-centered reform
WASHINGTON—U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today reiterated his plan to allow states to set aside federal proficiency requirements mandated by No Child Left Behind.
NEA President Dennis Van Roekel issued the following statement:
“What we need now is teacher-led and student-focused comprehensive reform instead of making states jump through more hoops. The Administration should be leading efforts that support all students and schools by providing real relief from parts of the law that everyone acknowledges simply don’t work. We know what works in America’s classrooms. We need to make sure every student has qualified, caring and committed teachers in schools with strong and inspiring leadership.
“It’s time to turn the page from the one-size-fits-all standardized testing regime and unleash the power of real teaching. Testing rules also must be revised so students can demonstrate what they know and what they can do.
“If we know what works, why not invest in the classroom priorities that build the foundation for student learning, including early childhood education, smaller class sizes, greater emphasis on reading, math, science and technology, up-to-date textbooks and computers, extended learning time for students who are struggling, and a well-rounded education that includes history, arts, P.E., and music? These investments form the cornerstone for student-focused reform that meets the needs of all students.
“NEA stands ready to work with Congress and the administration to get the law right for students this time.”
Photo: Courtesy of Medill DC