Five months ago, President Obama began releasing schools from the requirements set out for them in the No Child Left Behind education law. Today, more than half of the schools in the nation are free from these requirements. This is leading some to ask whether No Child Left Behind has been nullified.
On July 6, the Department of Education released two more states – Washington and Wisconsin – from the law. This means that now 26 states do not have to meet the requirements set forth by No Child Left Behind in order to receive federal funding. An additional 10 states and the District of Columbia are on the waiting list to be released from No Child Left Behind.
“The more waivers there are, the less there really is a law, right?” said Andy Porter, dean of the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania.
Why do so many schools want out of a set of requirements that includes making sure that all students are proficient in the subject areas of reading and math? It sounds like a pretty good thing to ask of our schools, right? Well, the concern is that No Child Left Behind has really just turned into No Child Left Untested, due to its strong focus on standardized testing and test results. This focus has in turn led to several cheating scandals.
“There was a general feeling that there were these goals that no was ever going to meet [with No Child Left Behind],” said Kelli Gauthier, a spokeswoman for the Tennessee Department of Education. “Now we have standards that are possible.”
So, what happens to the schools who are released from No Child Left Behind? Do they just get to play Monopoly and watch movies in their classrooms? Nope, not at all. The schools must develop new goals that will help prepare students for college or a career. They also have to continue evaluating teachers to make sure that they are doing a good job.
Via The New York Times