From Sec'y Duncan:
As you know, Washington’s request for ESEA flexibility was approved
based on Washington’s commitments to carry out certain actions in
support of key education reforms. In return for those commitments, we
granted your State and your local school districts significant
flexibility. However, Washington has not been able to keep all of its
commitments. Thus, although Washington has benefitted from ESEA
flexibility, I regret that Washington’s flexibility will end with the
2013–2014 school year.
I love the last line here:
However, because those efforts were unsuccessful, and your legislature
is not scheduled to reconvene until January 2015, I cannot extend
Washington’s authority to implement ESEA flexibility, and Washington and
its LEAs must resume implementing the requirements of Title I of the
ESEA, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), as well
as all other ESEA requirements that were waived under ESEA flexibility,
for the 2014–2015 school year. This means that, among other actions
that the State and LEAs will have to resume, LEAs in Washington must
once again set aside 20 percent of their Title I funds for public school
choice and supplemental educational services rather than having the
flexibility to use those funds for other activities to improve student
achievement in low-achieving schools. Should Washington obtain the
requisite authority to resolve its condition, I would be pleased to
reconsider Washington’s request to implement ESEA flexibility at any
Is that the big stick or the big carrot he is offering? Washington State should ignore them both.
Superintendent Dorn blames the teachers union for their influence on the Legislature. And was it all the teachers union? I doubt it but it makes for a good narrative.
The WEA is saying it was better to stand up to Duncan (and especially given that last sentence I highlighted, I'd agree - that sounds like more big stick talk on the part of Duncan).
Patty Murray (via Politico)- Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said she was “deeply disappointed” by the
waiver revocation. Congress, she said, needs to take swift action to
revise No Child Left Behind.
“What’s most important now is that we all do our part to rectify this
situation,” she said. “From the congressional viewpoint, that means
working to update the outdated No Child Left Behind law in a way that
works for our state, supports our teachers, and meets the needs of
But Frederick Hess, director of education policy studies at the
American Enterprise Institute, said the waiver termination sets a
“This shows how massively the Obama administration has extended the
U.S. Department of Education’s reach,” he said. “Secretary Duncan is now
punishing Washington state and reimposing provisions of a law that he
has termed broken because its Legislature failed to heed his mandate
governing teacher and principal evaluation — a mandate that has no
grounding in statute.”
The loss of the waiver has several practical and potentially
far-reaching consequences. It means that local districts will have less
flexibility to use about $38 million a year in federal Title I funds.
They will likely be required to spend millions of that funding on
private tutoring services for at-risk students. Another $19 million in
Title I money may be reallocated for professional development and
The state will also have to notify parents in low-performing schools
that they have the right to transfer their children to stronger schools.
The state will have to provide transportation for those children,
paying for it out of federal funds. Washington also will have less
flexibility to direct funding to schools that the state thinks need it
most. Instead, it will have to follow federal guidelines for which
schools merit priority status.
Perhaps most troubling for the state, the waiver revocation means
nearly every school in Washington will labeled as failing under NCLB.
Under the law, every child was supposed to be doing math and reading at
grade level by this school year — a nearly impossible task. The waivers
the department has extended exempted states from meeting that 100
percent proficiency goal.
So that mean the district budget will have to be rearranged to meet these needs. The district will have to backfill money that would have come
under Title One for specific uses. The district has not, in the past,
used anywhere near all its Title One dollars and I doubt that will
change in the near future.
It also means that nearly every single school in our district will be labeled "failing." Naturally, people involved with the district all know that is NOT true and I honestly don't believe any thinking voter would believe it, either. (What might be interesting is the any school not failing could find parents clamoring to get in under NCLB rules.)