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Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s approval of the CORE districts’ waiver from unattainable provisions of the No Child Left Behind law, exposed some old and some new internecine disputes in California education.

Duncan called it the “right thing to do” for the 1 million students enrolled in the eight districts. Others used different words.

Among policymakers and advocates who commented on the decision, EdSource Today found common themes among differences of opinion.

U.S. Rep. George Miller:  The senior Democrat on the House Education and the Workforce Committee, was an architect of No Child Left Behind, but has since acknowledged its flaws and reproached Congress for not fixing through reauthorization.

The approval of the CORE waiver application will provide the opportunity for more than a million students in California to break away from the most rigid requirements of NCLB that do little to ensure that all children are learning… and I believe this action will provide the whole state an exciting opportunity to pilot new reforms and learn from some of the leading districts in California and the nation.”

U.S. Rep. John Kline: The Minnesota Republican chairs the House Education and the Workforce Committee.

“As if state waivers weren’t convoluted enough, the administration has now decided to move forward with district-level waivers. One can only imagine the confusion this creates for families, teachers and state and local education leaders.”

Dean Vogel, president, California Teachers Association: Vogel called the waiver “counterproductive and divisive” at a time when California schools need to be working together to implement Common Core State Standards and the Local Control Funding Formula, and he criticized CORE for leaving teachers out of the discussions.

“By approving this waiver, Secretary Duncan once again demonstrates how his rhetoric that educators be actively involved in education change is just that—rhetoric. Not one of the local teachers’ associations in the eight school districts was included in the discussion or signed the waiver application.

Dennis Kelly, president, United Educators of San Francisco:

“Nobody’s a fan of NCLB. I don’t think this is the answer. This provides a huge distraction when districts should develop Common Core, understand inclusion of special education students, and LCFF. There are huge things facing school districts right now and this is a distraction.”

Julie White, assistant executive director, the Association of California School Administrators:

“[The waiver is a] monumental first step toward the long-overdue transformation of or public schools… This is an unprecedented opportunity to relieve committed, reform-minded local school districts from the constraints and wasteful spending under NCLB, and we will continue our efforts to include other districts in the waiver… ACSA is urging lawmakers to keep the door open for reform-minded districts to meet the same accountability provisions outlined in the final proposal.”

 

 

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  1. Chris 9 years ago9 years ago

    As stated by Dean Vogel, teachers had no input in the process which is in itself quite contradictory to one of basic tenets of CORE, that of professional capital. The concept originated from the book of the same name authored by Michael Fullan, who also advises CORE, and Andy Hargreaves. The authors outline the idea that professional capital incorporates human, social and decisional capital. Somehow the decisional capital decision was overlooked … Read More

    As stated by Dean Vogel, teachers had no input in the process which is in itself quite contradictory to one of basic tenets of CORE, that of professional capital. The concept originated from the book of the same name authored by Michael Fullan, who also advises CORE, and Andy Hargreaves. The authors outline the idea that professional capital incorporates human, social and decisional capital. Somehow the decisional capital decision was overlooked since those most affected by the waiver had no voice and in most cases had no idea that the district’s were even considering such a radical action.

  2. Virginia Tibbetts 9 years ago9 years ago

    Wasn’t it nice of Mr. Miller to recognize the flaws of the law he had a large part in. Why Mr. Miller, are you feeling a wee bit guilty the way NCLB limited the learning of our students for the last 12 years? Geez, what a piece of work!

  3. Virginia Tibbetts 9 years ago9 years ago

    Julie White, assistant executive director, the Association of California School Administrators says: “[The waiver is a] monumental first step toward the long-overdue transformation of or public schools… NCLB was what devastated public education, Ms. White. Curriculum was narrowed, all subjects but reading and math were put on the back burner, field trips and assemblies curtailed, special projects that were not standards-based were disallowed, and lessons were scripted. This is what ruined public education in CA. Now … Read More

    Julie White, assistant executive director, the Association of California School Administrators says:

    “[The waiver is a] monumental first step toward the long-overdue transformation of or public schools…

    NCLB was what devastated public education, Ms. White. Curriculum was narrowed, all subjects but reading and math were put on the back burner, field trips and assemblies curtailed, special projects that were not standards-based were disallowed, and lessons were scripted. This is what ruined public education in CA. Now we should continue with more bureaucratic and corporate designed reforms? No, the waiver is not what Ca needs. We need teacher-driven change which this waiver is not. There was no teacher input on this. Just more crap shoveled onto public teachers’ plates.

  4. el 9 years ago9 years ago

    I want to highlight some language that came out of Duncan's office last year: ----------------------------------------------- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 9, 2012 2:45PM TODAY: Conference Call with Senior Administration Officials to Discuss the President’s Announcement on No Child Left Behind Reforms WASHINGTON, DC – Today, at 2:45PM, Cecilia Munoz, Director of the Domestic Policy Council and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will host an on-the-record conference call to discuss the President’s announcement that ten states have agreed to implement bold reforms … Read More

    I want to highlight some language that came out of Duncan’s office last year:
    ———————————————–

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    February 9, 2012

    2:45PM TODAY: Conference Call with Senior Administration Officials to Discuss the President’s Announcement on No Child Left Behind Reforms

    WASHINGTON, DC – Today, at 2:45PM, Cecilia Munoz, Director of the Domestic Policy Council and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will host an on-the-record conference call to discuss the President’s announcement that ten states have agreed to implement bold reforms around standards and accountability will receive flexibility from the most burdensome mandates of the federal education law known as No Child Left Behind. The ten states approved for flexibility are Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.

    ————————————–

    “receive flexibility from the most burdensome mandates of the federal education law known as No Child Left Behind”

    Wouldn’t it be good for education for all schools in all states to receive flexibility from burdensome mandates? Why is he asking states or districts to apply one at a time?

    Replies

    • navigio 9 years ago9 years ago

      Yes, but its against the nature of a politician to cede power. The point is not to provide flexibility from mandates, rather to impose mandates thqt align with a different set of priorities. This is what happens when adults argue from the perspective of what is best for adults rather than what is best for kids.

      • Manuel 9 years ago9 years ago

        Sir, do you have proof that NCLB was not passed for the good of the children? After all, it was passed to reduce that soft bigotry of low expectations. Wasn't it? How can you be against this? Of course, that was then and this is now and it explains why Julie White, assistant executive director, the Association of California School Administrators now says that the waiver "is an unprecedented opportunity to relieve committed, reform-minded local school districts … Read More

        Sir, do you have proof that NCLB was not passed for the good of the children?

        After all, it was passed to reduce that soft bigotry of low expectations. Wasn’t it? How can you be against this?

        Of course, that was then and this is now and it explains why Julie White, assistant executive director, the Association of California School Administrators now says that the waiver “is an unprecedented opportunity to relieve committed, reform-minded local school districts from the constraints and wasteful spending under NCLB.” I wonder how she felt about NCLB when it was signed by 43rd.