Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Idaho Threatens To Defy 'No Child Left Behind'

I love these little rebellions. They work right up to the minute the feds threaten to keep their money.

This from NPR:
A rebellion over "No Child Left Behind" has begun, and the starting point is Idaho. Many states say they need emergency relief from the controversial education law's requirements, or a huge number of decent schools will face sanctions. Idaho says it will just ignore the law this year.

Under No Child Left Behind, Idaho is supposed to identify a growing number of schools as failing because they can't get enough students to pass a state test.

Idaho schools superintendent Tom Luna says he just won't do it.

"We're not going to identify more schools as 'needs improvement,' because that is not the correct way to identify them," Luna says.

Every year, the law's targets keep rising, Luna says. Many schools that have made great strides in improving achievement still fall below that bar as it floats upward. Congress was expected to make adjustments, to give schools credit for their progress. But Luna says that in Washington, D.C., the law has become a political football in a gridlocked Congress, "and we're not going to be a pawn in those games."

Now, technically, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan could punish Idaho if the state refuses to obey the law. But Duncan may have encouraged this reaction by announcing recently that he would grant waivers to states that could not meet the law's standards. Duncan said he had no choice because Congress has failed to renew the law.

What Duncan probably had in mind was the reaction from Kentucky: Rather than rebelling, state Education Commissioner Terry Holliday is respectfully asking Duncan to cut him some slack. But he's proposing to give something in return...
Hat tip to the Commish

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