Announced last Friday, the Obama administration’s plan to allow for state to waive NCLB requirements has been getting a lot of support from education officials across the country.
Massachusetts has followed suit today:
Chester said the 100-percent proficiency rule – a key provision of the federal No Child Left Behind Act – has lost credibility as an increasing number of schools and districts fail to make yearly progress in fulfilling the requirement. Last week, state education officials announced that more than 80 percent of the state’s schools and more than 90 percent of districts missed proficiency targets on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System exams that the state established under the federal law.
What does this mean for education in MA? If Massachusetts succeeds in securing a waiver, the largest impact will probably be on no longer being required to fulfill the 100% proficiency requirements of NCLB and being able to re-appropriate Title I money sent to public schools for tutoring (because of low proficiency) to other resources.
Coming out from under the 100% proficiency requirement is a strong step towards righting NCLB with the realities of educational testing – how exactly can one receive 100% efficiency when state tests are developed based on a bell cure? It’s statistically impossible.
My one concern would be that the states will not use this freed-up Title I money correctly. Yes, the current system of using Title I money to pay for private tutoring in schools is littered with waste. But I have yet to see strong plans concerning what states are planning to do with this money. Show me the policies and I’ll show you the money (kind of like Race to the Top anyone?)
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