Two More States For Obama’s NCLB Flexibility Waivers

Today’s inbox brought an update from the U.S. Department of Education. Clicking on the link to the information site, the first paragraph that caught my eye was this:

Federal education law has been due for congressional reauthorization since 2007. In the face of congressional inaction, President Obama announced in September of 2011 that the Obama Administration would grant waivers from NCLB to qualified states.

The basic concepts of NCLB were positive, but the law as implemented had serious flaws because NCLB was not adequately thought out prior to passage and implementation by Congress. The spirit of the law was sound, but the basic policies were clearly written by non-educators. Because the country’s legislators continue to allow politics to interfere  with educational need, NCLB remains as federal mandate, taking away from states one of the Constitutional responsibilities given them. For years, state education departments and local school districts have struggled to implement NCLB, a law that made little sense for most educational systems. In too many cases, the legislated policies destroying promising local programs and even programs that were already successful in educating students to become informed and critically thoughtful citizens. Because NCLB milestones could not be reached, these states lost much federal financial support.

This week, the Obama Administration’s NCLB Flexibility Waiver program has reached the important milestone toward returning education to state control by adding two more states to the program. To date, 52% of states have submitted educational programs that have been approved for the waivers. That’s more than half of the states that have taken back control of educational policy with guidelines that address the most critical education needs of the individual state’s children while keeping to the spirit of NCLB.

Read more at the link below.

via Obama Administration Approves Two More States For Nclb Flexibility – More Than Half of the Country Now Approved for Waivers, More to Follow | U.S. Department of Education.

URL: http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/obama-administration-approves-two-more-states-nclb-flexibility-more-half-country

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School Sees ‘Turnaround’ Progress in Just Two Years | ED.gov Blog

It can be done! Look what an elementary school in Kansas City, Kansas, did. A new principal, some staff changes, a new attitude, and a grant from SIG, the Schools Improvement Program–and a school that went from 45% of students in the  warning area for reading to just 2% low scorers.

Kudos to everyone who made this happen: prinicpal, teachers and support staff, and parents. You made it happen!

From the ed.gov blog:

School Sees ‘Turnaround’ Progress in Just Two Years | ED.gov Blog.

(http://www.ed.gov/blog/2012/06/school-sees-turnaround-progress-in-just-two-years/)

To be honest, I do not understand why more schools did not take advantage of a change model. Sometimes, it takes moving only a few people to make a difference. Get rid of the chronic complainers who make little or no effort to change, and you are left with people who are willing to learn and make changes in their environment that places the students and their needs first. Too many schools that received SIG funds did so by attempting changes through other models. I would be interested to see what progress was made overall by SIG category. Maybe the information is forthcoming…

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Achievement Gap Persists For Low-Income Students While Competing Philosophies Vie For Influence

Below is a link to a Huffington Post education blog that poses what is probably one of our biggest educational problems: the achievement and retention of low-income (especially in inner-city areas) students. One of the blogger’s statements clearly addresses the need to treat this block of students as an entity, regardless of ethnicity or cultural background. A brief search on this issue uncovers a lot of commentary, but little in the way of research and support. All we see in research is the relationship between poverty and academic achievement, but too little on the whys of this gap. Are low-income students getting equity? Are alternative schools meeting students’ needs? Are we, as a nation, doing enough to address the daily hurdles these students must clear?

Achievement Gap Persists For Low-Income Students While Competing Philosophies Vie For Influence.

URL to copy and paste into your browser if the link doesn’t work: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/23/achievement-gap-chasm-in-the-classroom_n_1613312.html?page=1

#educ_dr