Sunday, December 28, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Feds set to reject No Child Left Behind waiver

By
From page A2 | December 27, 2012 |

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Federal education officials are poised to reject California’s self-styled bid to avoid the strict requirements of the No Child Left Behind law, which could lead to radical reforms at hundreds of low-income schools.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said U.S. Department of Education officials informed him last week that they were prepared to deny the state’s waiver application, although the rejection has not yet been formally issued.

“I look forward to thoroughly examining the rationale the administration provides for its decision and will continue to explore every avenue for providing California’s schools and students the relief they deserve,” Torlakson said in a statement.

After missing two deadlines for waivers, California in June submitted a last-minute, customized exemption from the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as No Child Left Behind is formally known. The state said even though it did not comply with the specifics of some waiver requirements, it was adhering to them in principle.

U.S. education officials did not return a request for comment Wednesday. The department has received a total of 47 waiver requests, and approvals have been issued to 33 states and the District of Columbia so far.

Under the law’s key provision, schools must raise all students to proficiency levels in English-language arts and math by 2014.

If a waiver is not obtained and Congress does not revise the law, Torlakson has said that more than half of California’s low-income schools would be labeled as “failing.” That could lead to radical reforms such as state takeovers and charter conversions, and affect hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding.

Critics have long charged that No Child Left Behind is too inflexible and relies too heavily on standardized test scores. The result has been that too many schools have been classified as failing, they say.

Last year, the Obama administration agreed to issue a two-year waiver for states that meet three main criteria: adoption of rigorous academic achievement standards, a program to focus on turning around low performing schools, and the most contentious provision, an accountability system that would involve using test scores to evaluate teachers and principals.

But Torlakson said waivers should be granted without strings attached and said the requirements were too costly for a state mired in fiscal problems. State education officials estimated it would cost $2 billion to $2.7 billion to meet the waiver criteria.

The state has already committed to the first requirement through the adoption of the national curriculum known as the Common Core State Standards, but the state’s main teachers’ union, the California Teachers Association, has steadfastly refused to agree to incorporate test scores as a measure of classroom performance.

Instead, California based its waiver application on its current measure of school achievement, called the Academic Performance Index, and several initiatives under way to boost teacher effectiveness.

“Taken together, these initiatives will provide California the opportunity to redesign the system of school accountability to ensure that it is more meaningful and more inclusive than the current federal accountability system,” Torlakson wrote in a letter Friday to district superintendents.

School reformers said the waiver rejection shows that California is increasingly out of step with educational progress nationwide.

If the state had submitted an adequate application, low-income schools would also have gained flexibility in how they can use federal money, noted Erin Shaw, spokeswoman for Students First, a Sacramento-based reform group.

“This unfortunately comes at a time when school budgets remain tight and the ‘fiscal cliff’ looms,” Shaw said in a statement. “California has already left millions of badly needed federal dollars on the table by failing to submit competitive applications for ‘Race to the Top’ funding. It’s time to change the system that rejects accountability and continually risks classroom resources that rightfully belong to students.”

The teachers association and Torlakson have said they are in favor of Congress rewriting the Elementary and Secondary Act to incorporate state policy differences and to give more flexibility.

————

By Christina Hoag. Follow her at http://twitter.com/ChristinaHoag .

Comments

comments

The Associated Press

.

News

 
Yolo makes hydrogen connection

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
N. Korea uses racial slur against Obama over hack

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
AirAsia plane with 162 aboard missing in Indonesia

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Sacramento man convicted for 2011 bar shooting

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

Drugs, stolen car lead to women’s arrests

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

 
NYC officer mourned at funeral as tensions linger

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Covell Gardens hosts New Year’s Eve dance

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
UC Davis debate team wins national championship

By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Portuguese breakfast set for Jan. 25

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Pedal around Davis on weekly bike ride

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Nominate teens for Golden Heart awards

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
USA Weekend calls it quits

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Supplies collected for victims of abuse

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Sweet success: Cancer Center helps young patient celebrate end of treatment

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Reserve tickets soon for Chamber’s Installation Gala

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Holiday hours continue at The Enterprise

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

At the Pond: It all started with kayaking on Putah Creek

By Jean Jackman | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Find the first cabbage white butterfly, and win a pitcher

By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Does pre-eclampsia raise autism risk?

By Phyllis Brown | From Page: A6

 
Long will talk about value of hedgerows for adjacent farms

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
It’s a wonderful life — and a wonderful state

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8 | Gallery

College sees benefits in loan guarantees

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Tickets for New Year’s Eve party going fast

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A12

.

Forum

It was a busy, black-eye year for disease control

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
This cat is on life No. 7

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B4

 
Say thanks to the caregivers

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Bombing is not the answer

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

Just Us in Davis: Despair and hope for the new year

By Jonathan London | From Page: A10

 
Commission’s list needs vetting

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Rifkin’s statement is offensive

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Cuba policy changes highlight a momentous opportunity

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11 | Gallery

Writer’s arguments fall flat

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A11

 
.

Sports

Sacramento survives Knicks in OT

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Kings cruise past Sharks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Lady Blue Devils top Tigers to reach Ram Jam title game

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
DHS boys get good film in tournament loss

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Sports briefs: Republic FC to host camp series

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

 
College bowl roundup: Sun Bowl goes to the Sun Devils

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10 | Gallery

.

Features

.

Arts

.

Business

Rob White: Davis tech community is growing

By Rob White | From Page: A9

 
Yolo County real estate sales

By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A9

First Northern adds Peyret to agribusiness loan team

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Kaiser’s trauma center in Vacaville earns verification

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

.

Obituaries

Ruth Allen Barr

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Charles ‘Bud’ Meyer

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, December 28, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B8