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US To Grant Waivers On NCLB

US To Grant Waivers On NCLB

WASHINGTON — The Administration of President Barack Obama said it will grant waivers to U.S. States saying they can’t meet the requirements of the No Child Left Behind law.

Efforts to reform the signature education legislation of President George W. Bush have stalled in Congress.

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said he decided to grant waivers because of “universal clamoring” from education officials in nearly every State who say they can’t meet the unrealistic requirements of the Federal law, The Washington Post reported Sunday.

“The States are desperately asking for us to respond,” Duncan said in a conference call with reporters late last week.

Educators in most States expressed concern about NCLB’s escalating requirements that result in the goal of 100 percent of students being proficient in reading and math by 2014 or face serious sanctions for their schools, including loss of Federal money, The Post said.

The pressure of trying to reach 100 percent proficiency has created a harmful focus on standardized tests and a narrowing of curriculum that excludes studies beyond math and reading, educators said.

In addition, some officials also blame No Child Left Behind for fostering an atmosphere that led educators to allegedly rig test results in Atlanta, Baltimore and the District of Columbia, The Post said.

Duncan and Melody Barnes, President Obama’s domestic policy adviser, declined to discuss specifics about the waivers, but said they would release details in September, when they will begin examining applications from any State seeking exemption.

Administration officials said they will grant waivers to States adopting standards that prepare high school graduates for post-secondary education and careers, and using a “flexible and targeted” accountability system for educators based on student growth, among other things.

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  • Sue

    It is about time that the NCLB Act is reconsidered. Testing costs money and time; forces teachers to take time away from classroom teaching, etc. To hold schools accountable when there are so many factors that play into the education of a child is ridiculous. Teachers want the best for their students, but, when you are fighting with parents who place no priority on education and fail to read to their children as pre-schoolers; when parents are too busy to help their children with homework; when society places drugs use before the importance of using a brain to make decisions; when there are neighborhoods where people entertain themselves with sexual activity rather than interpersonal relationships and where developmentally appropriate skills are not attended to; where parents & children play every trick they can to accuse teachers of assaulting the students; where sports and graphic movies have become the be-all and end-all for entertainment; etc. how can you expect the schools to be soley responsible for the education of our children? The schools cannot complete. We should always encourage good accomplishment, but, to place the burden on the teachers when there are so many factors to weigh the system down is wrong. Even merit pay will not change how the system works. Until we talk about and pressure unresponsible parents to obligate themselves to the progress of their children, we will not see much improvement. Why is it that private schools have greater success with students than government schools? Because, those parents are much more involved in their children’s educations and developmentally appropriate activities outside fo school.

  • Ellen

    Sue, You are absolutely right. A teacher’s responsibility is to teach school subjects. It is not to try to make up for lack of parenting. It has been known for years that the lowest performing students come from poverty or low income homes where education is not valued. My school system is one chosen for review by the DOE to ensure minority students are getting equal resources to non-minority students resources. The DOE and our state and local govt all knew before this project started that the minority kids get more resources, yet they held town hall meetings for the minority students’ parents to complain about how the rich white kids get all the money. They never explained the truth in the meetings. New student-teacher ratios were instituted but the minority schools were exepmted so they still have tiny ratios. The school superintendant commented that the minority schools get more local, state and federal money because they have more needs and getting equal resources wouldn’t be fair. The truth is, they are just wasting money. We’ve already learned that spending more money doesn’t change the outcome. Even Head Start has been a waste of money for 40 years as it doesn’t bridge the gap beyond 4th grade. Peer pressure gets them at that point and it’s simply uncool to be smart. We need to start by changing welfare laws so people don’t repeat the poverty cycle. We need to require more of the parents. We don’t need to waste more money on kids who don’t care, are disrespectful, and will fail. These kids are destined to a life of failure if we don’t change their parents.

  • JimB

    It’s dumb. If a child won’t or can’t learn it is not the schools fault! Change it so if a kid doesn’t pass he is left behind (to learn what he didn’t the first time) or send him to summer school. There are tutoring businesses that guarantee their work!

  • s c

    People, let all individual states rise or fall on their own efforts! To hell with Uncle Scam. If the states find ways that work, keep those methods. If they can’t make it work, then you know where the blame goes.
    It won’t be easy, especially if your state is in bed with teacher unions. Imagine what would have happened long ago if we’d allowed MDs to ‘unionize.’
    A teacher who puts more emphasis on union membership is NOT in a classroom to teach! LOOK at
    Wisconsin. Wisonsin’s non-teaching atmosphere must be seen for what it is. WHY would anyone let teachers have the same country club life-style as our worthless bastards in Washington? Haven’t you seen what goes in on Washington and THEIR country club life-style?
    When teacher unions can PROVE that their teachers are better, when they can PROVE that kids learn better with a union teacher, when union teachers can PROVE that they care more about kids than their last check or their RETIREMENT plan, THAT’s when they’ll be worth having around. Until then, they’re no better than criminals. Take those damned blinders off, people. WAKE UP!

    • eddie47d

      You are a total crackpot SC to say that teachers have a country club lifestyle. Your attacks on unions is just another cheap shot since they can’t control the behavior of the parents who look at schools as a babysitting service. Instead of an educational process that they need to be involved with. It’s unfortunate that NCLB was mostly a failure for it forced teachers to put extra time on failing students to pass the test instead of the class as a whole. Thus that whole class became mediocre when there should have been special classes or parent involvement for the slow learners to catch up.I don’t envy teachers today who can’t possibly be themselves and emphasis THEIR teaching skills instead of having to use some unworkable formula.

      • jibbs

        Teachers in Lake Forest, IL. make over $90,000 a year plus bennie’s. Kind of over paid for less than a year of work.

      • Ellen

        Eddie, I agree. Teachers have to teach down to the lowest level of skill in the classroom. This has negatively impacted all students. I have volunteered at a disadvantaged preschool and at an after-school program for disadvantaged kids. I have seen first hand what teachers have to deal with. It goes beyond the parents who don’t care. Many of these kids have damaged brains from mom’s drug/alcohol abuse and/or emotional issues that are unlike anything from when we were kids. Teachers are not trained – nor should they need to be – to deal with these childrens’ issues. The problem begins at home and that is where we need to start the solution. How? Drug test all pregnant welfare women and, if they test positive, put them in jail until the baby is born. They’ll get detoxed and the baby’s brain will be saved. Don’t allow welfare for babies born to teens. Hold their parents responsible for them. You can guarantee mom will be more involved if she thinks she’ll be held responsible for her child’s errors. Require mom to name dad on the birth certificate if she is going to collect welfare. We would see a drastic reduction in baby daddies if daddy had to pay for all the babies he created. Limit women to collecting welfare for only 1 child (or pregnancy). Why are taxpayers paying for welfare women to have 6 kids? I have 2 because that’s all I could afford. Stopping the welfare cycle is the key to fixing education.

        • Robert Smith

          Make sure birth control is easily available with instructions on how to use it.

          Make sure that girls are allowed to say “NO” when they are pressured to have sex and the community will back the girl instead of patting the punk on the back because of his conquests.


      • s c

        e, you really CAN’T read, can you? You are living proof of what I have suspected for many years. Those who refuse to think and read create their own septic tank reality. Let me guess. You were also socially promoted, or else you’d still be stuck in grade school. AWAY with you!

  • wandamurline

    The federal Department of Education needs to be dismantled and the education system turned over to the individual states. The feds have no constitutional power to be over the schools. If we can get the federal government out of the classroom, the states can use their own monies to better education our kids….who right now spend half the year studying how to pass the federal test….what a crock.

  • RG

    It is not in the job description of the federal government to make sure our children are educated. It is not the federal government’s job to make sure schools provide wholesome breakfast, healthy lunches, after school programs and snacks, or any type of feeding for the children. Sounds hard hearted, but those things are the responsibilities of the parents. If the parents need help feeding their children for whatever reason, it is not the federal government’s responsibility to give them anything. Provision should be organized via family first, then friends,then charities, then community intervention, and the last link of that chain, at its very worst, should be State level, never federal. Education is primarily a parent’s responsibility, not that of the State. If education was funded and guided by the individual states, and strictly overseen by individual communities, it would be very apparent where waste is, and which teachers are really doing their job, if that is really as big a part of the problem as some would contend. Those students, who themselves refuse to learn(yes,it begins with parents not caring,being uninvolved, and using the school system as a free babysitting service so they don’t have to actually be responsible parents. At some point, however, students begin to make their own choices and perpetuate their own rancid attitudes as well.)should be given the option to decide with their parents if they want to pursue a trade or begin working odd jobs. Teachers should not be saddled with students who continually cause disturbance in class because they don’t want to be there, and who intimidate the kids who do want to learn through words, threats, bullying, or violent acts of aggression. Such students who have a vast record of these things should have their parents notified and if needed, taught and guided. If the parents do not step up, or there is no notable progress within a reasonable amount of time, such students should be suspended and sent to privately run, not state run, character training camps (like ramped up boy scouts) that have hard work included in their curriculum, if they are young, but once they reach high school age should not be the responsibility of ‘the system’ in any way, as they have by that time been given plenty of opportunity to shape up. As for the actual students in schools, if you are not a citizen or here legally, you should be deported, not coddled. Teachers should not have to be bilingual, students should learn our language. Corporal punishment is a good thing, and if you keep track of actual studies, not the garbage theories that tend to recirculate every couple of years, it is proven that corporal punishment in youth causes more responsible adults. Yes, there is much more to be said, but these changes would help so much.

  • Bob from SoCal

    Complain, complain, complain, this is just unreasonable claims the unions. How are our teachers supposed to dumb down their students, if they are able to read and write?

  • Ellen

    Michelle Obama’s Healthy School Lunch bill added dinner for 20 million kids. Instead of starting to shift the responsibility back to where it belongs – with the parents – Democrats are taking on more responsibility and having the taxpayers fund it. Is it any wonder we’re broke? Our future looks bleak – 40% of all kids born in the US each year are born into poverty. These are the kids who are never fully educated and 1/2 of them drop out of high school. They are supposed to be the future earners/taxpayers that will fund our govt.

    • Earl

      An interesting aside here…
      There was a survey done with cameras in elementary schools and high schools a little while back, and guess what? The cameras over the garbage cans showed that there was a huge volume of waste by throwing out whatever the kids didn’t like on their plate. This is a good reason why school food should be the responsibility of the state and the parents, not the Fedgov. If it’s free, who cares if it’s thrown away, right? When I was in school, we paid for our lunch or brought it from home.

  • Darrell Pryor

    Bring up a child,is ajob,and like a job it sometimes reguires hard work.I’ve been to alot of schools as a voluntary teachers aide,and I’ve seen all kinds of kids .It didn’t take long to notice which ones came from good homes and those that came from bad homes.On the other side of the coin ,however,I’ve seen some very good teachers,and then i’ve seen some very bad ones. reguardless of what the law says,parnets and teachers should work together for the good of the childern.


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