Skip to comments.Texas to Request No Child Left Behind Waivers
Posted on 09/08/2012 9:47:53 AM PDT by KantianBurke
Texas is asking the federal government to waive requirements associated with No Child Left Behind, the signature package of education reforms championed by former President (and former Texas Governor) George W. Bush. The announcement comes after more than half of Texas schools failed to meet the annually escalating standards last school year.
In a message on the Texas Education Agency website, the new Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams announces plans to submit requests to the U.S. Department of Education waiving provisions in 2001s No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, as well as parts of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
"The state recognizes that the lack of NCLBs reauthorization in a timely manner has created an obsolete system that does not adequately reflect the accomplishments of the states schools," the statement reads. "This, combined with [Local Educational Agencies] being required to meet and function within two different assessment and accountability systems, takes valuable resources and time away from the intent and focus of improving student achievement and school accountability.
Does this mean it will once again be OK to let the failures fail, and the hard workers succeed?
The Federal Department of Education should be eliminated ASAP.
This means they’re giving up on their quest for all kids being above average?
Some of the problems Texas faces are due to illegal immigrants and their children. More than half of the charity and non-paid births are to illegal alien parents - in Parkland hospital of Dallas, hundreds of miles from the border. The same is true for Houston, San Antonio and many other cities.
Texas has a constant influx of non-English speaking kids whose parents rarely have a high school education, while expected to show continued improvement on the educational attainment of this demographic. Slight gains for blacks and whites are irrelevant compared to the stagnating or declining test scores for Hispanics. Third generation hispanic kids who speak English are surrounded by first generation Americans and new arrivals who speak no English and live in a culture against assimilation and learning English. Academic scores go down because the new arrivals have low scores and no interest in improving. Texas schools with these kids get penalized, because the President won’t shut the border and now offers de facto amnesty to these kids.
Schools have to spend more for ESL to create kids that don’t learn English, then get dinged on funding and raises and ratings because the kids and their families won’t learn English and don’t value education.
re: “Does this mean it will once again be OK to let the failures fail, and the hard workers succeed?”
No Child Left Behind was intended to force public schools to make sure every kid was able to meet reading, math, and science standards set by the Dept. of Ed.
Aside from the fact that there should be no federal dept. of education, and that the feds have no business in influencing states on how their state’s public schools should be run - the “intent” was to “help”.
As usual, with most government programs that were “intended” to “help”, it had unintended consequences.
First, every school was evaluated by a federal standard in reading, math, and science through testing, testing, then more testing.
Each school was to divide its students into “groups” - by ethnicity and by test scores. Once these groups were identified, the feds said the school had to set a certain percentage of “growth” in test scores for each group. These growth goals had to be increased year after year. Any school that failed to meet the growth goals were put on a watch list, if during the second year they didn’t make it again, they were taken over by the state’s education department, everyone fired, and basically a whole new administrator and faculty were chosen to get the school back on track.
The problem is, as time went on, EVERY SCHOOL sooner or later would fail to meet the ever increasing growth goals set by the feds. Some schools that already tested very high in math, science, and language arts (reading) had no problem meeting the standards the first or second year, but by the third year they could not reach the growth goals for a majority of the “groups” within the school. Each group HAD to demonstrate an increase in their test scores so it didn’t matter if six out of ten groups did show growth - that was not acceptable -ALL of the groups must show growth. Sooner or later every school was going to reach a ceiling which they just could not pass.
Initially, this did help some of the more dismal low-testing schools to get moving. But, as I said, sooner or later each school would reach that ceiling. What was happening was more and more schools could not reach the growth goals and these schools were “taken over” to get them back on reaching the goals. The problem was that that didn’t work either. And, testing became the PRIMARY activity for all schools because you HAD to reach those goals or else.
This contributed to cheating by schools in order to meet those ever increasing goals.
Kids whose parents cared about their education did perform well, but with our society so screwed up that an intact family is no longer the norm, the kids in that group had mixed results. Many of the parents that either did not value education, or were in survival mode and had no time to help their kids with reading, math, science - or, with some parents who were screwed up emotionally that their kids actually ran the house - those kids had an especially tough row to hoe.
In the end, this is all about control by the federal government. If the states did not cooperate with the feds on NCLB (no child left behind), they lost that always tempting tax money.
Again, the goal was an attempt to make public schools be “accountable”, but it just wound up, in the long run, to create more problems than it fixed.
The states should be held accountable by the people of those individual states, the state legislatures are the ones who “approve” of their states curriculum, the local school districts must be directly accountable to their constituents on their district’s performance - not the federal government.
The federal government has also been offering “national certification” for teachers. If these teachers take the courses and get “nationally certified”, then they got an increase in salary paid for by us, the taxpayer.
What business does the federal government have in certifying teachers??? Sooner or later I believe this “national certification” will become a requirement in every state and then all teachers will have to be “federal government” approved in order to teach. You think it is bad now, just wait til that happens.
Texas schools put No Child Left Behind on the back burner several years ago. Texas adopted their own standards which are higher, and started getting teachers back to teaching, instead of teaching from test scripts. When we first started doing this, feds fined us $444,000. Perry just signed a check from federal funds and sent their money back to them. Having to administer the NCLB tests isn’t even relevant to what we’re doing today and is costly. It’s just a piece of paperwork that our teachers shouldn’t even have to set aside time to score, or administer. Some will say, well, if they couldn’t pass the NCLB tests, how can they pass even higher tests for academic scholarship? But that is a reflection on the debacle the NEA made out of the whole NCLB curriculum. There was nothing even relevant to reality in the NCLB testing and scoring process, much less the curriculum. Our tests and curriculum are geared higher in the maths, sciences, history and English. The NEA’s NCLB curriculum and tests were built on social engineering falacies. Only if you’ve worked with the two curriculum sets can you understand the differences.
Compassionate conservatism is still nanny statism.
Big government--they got their hands on education and ruined it at the local level (married to a teacher in CA)
Excellent synopsis of the problems here in Texas!!
ugh! Dubya w/ Teddy in the background, not a good sign....i smell a skunk.
The Federal Department of Education should be eliminated ASAP.
The American people would never agree to abolishing this useless department. They truly think it is there to promote “education.” Wasn’t Rep. Newton Gingrich one of its early backers too? GA Jimmy gets the last word on this!
Is this the same Michael Williams who was defeated for Congress on May 31 and had been a Railroad Commissioner? He also worked for GHWB way back.
But, hey, our high schools have the best football stadiums in the country.
Another really stupid waste of my tax money.
That’s true and I wonder if it is cultural. Cubans are very pro-education. Mexicans, at least the demographic that moves to the United States, are not. Liberals view these two peoples as one “Hispanic” or “Latino” continuum. They aren’t. They simply share a common colonial history and language. It would be like simply equating the Maya with the Aztecs and the Inca.
Government should have no role in determining an education in America. How did we get here without state and federal education standards? Today’s modern teachers in government schools are wholly incapable of producing a Madison, Mason, Jefferson, Hamilton, Franklin, Washington or any of the Founders. Their beliefs, perspective and politics preclude the generation that produced America.
Government rules and regulations encourage cheating and lying. Whenever you create laws contrary to human nature you get cheating and lying.
The objective of the bill is to "close the achievement gap" between white and minority students. That's its purpose. They want minority test scores to meet a threshold, and are unconcerned with white test scores, as long as they also meet that minimum threshold.