For the news and views you might have missed
From a Seattle Times article, Waivers free Washington, Wisconsin from ‘No Child Left Behind’:
In order to get a waiver, each state had to promise to show in other ways that its students and schools are improving, and they were required to more closely link teacher evaluations to student test scores, among other requirements.
And how much will the cost be to link teacher evaluations to student test scores and other requirements?
From the Los Angeles Times:
California officials say meeting the federal law’s requirements would be expensive and imply the state shouldn’t seek such relief. Teachers unions and the PTA back the conclusion, but others disagree.
It would cost cash-strapped California at least $2 billion to meet the requirements for relief from the federal No Child Left Behind law, state officials said.
Although the state Board of Education made no decision at its meeting in Sacramento, the clear implication of a staff report presentation was that California should spurn an opportunity to seek a waiver from federal rules that sanction schools for low test scores. The No Child Left Behind rules are widely unpopular here and elsewhere in the country.
“It seems like this is very costly. The deadline is very tight if not impossible,” said state Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, summarizing feedback he said he received from educators around the state as well as from his staff. “The best solution to a bad law is to replace it with a good law.”
Qualifying for a waiver would commit the state to using standardized test scores or equivalent data as part of evaluations for teachers and principals. There are also other requirements from the federal government, including some that the state has already agreed to.
Torlakson’s conclusions, delivered at the board meeting, were supported by the state’s two major teachers unions and the California PTA. But others took issue with those views.
And what will the cost be in terms of the education of our students? Will there be a focus on teaching to the test and not much more?
For additional information on what is termed “high stakes testing”, see: