California: NCLB waiver costs too much

Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s No Child Left Behind waivers would cost California at least $2 billion, state education officials told the California Board of Education yesterday.

Qualifying for a waiver would commit the state to using standardized test scores or equivalent data as part of the evaluations for teachers and principals.

State Superintendent Tom Torlakson, the state’s two major teachers unions and the California PTA appeared willing to go waiver-less and let California take its lumps when schools fail to meet NCLB proficiency goals. Perhaps they think it won’t matter how many schools are labeled “needs improvement,” since NCLB’s version of accountability is on the way out. Forty states plan to seek waivers, but if California doesn’t bother, other states may decide it’s not necessary.  Teacher Anthony Cody hopes California will lead a no-waiver movement.

Los Angeles Unified, the state’s largest district, belongs to a consortium of districts that’s seeking a waiver, notes the Los Angeles Times. A consortium spokesman said the waiver will save money.



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