Saturday, April 19, 2014

OSPI Thinks Duncan Will Bring Down the NCLB Hammer

According to an article in the Seattle Times, Superintendent Randy Dorn thinks the DOE will lose its waiver from NCLB.  Washington State would be the first state to lose a waiver.  (Other states may also lose their waivers as well by the end of their school years.)

(As usual, the Times makes the link between the teachers union and the Legislature.  Is that really the entire story of why the Legislature said no?  Probably not but it fits the Times' on-going ed reform narrative.)

I spoke with a DOE spokesperson yesterday about when this decision would come and she said that they are still "working" with the State and no decision has been made.  The DOE has said they know they need to let states know soon because of budgeting but they certainly seem to be taking their time.

Is the district "losing" money?  In one way, yes, as they will have to set aside funds to meet NCLB obligations.  Under NCLB,  at schools named as "failing", parents are allowed to leave that school for one that isn't or ask for private tutoring for their child.  According to the WEA, Seattle and Tacoma didn't even spend half the money allotted for tutoring.  And, according to the Times, Tacoma used dollars to fund preschool in six of its buildings. 

If Washington State is denied a waiver, many more schools - probably 95% of SPS - would be declared "failing" under NCLB.  Naturally, this is pretty ridiculous and I can't believe that any rational adult would think it true. 

NCLB feels like a joke at this point.  Congress has not renewed/re-written it in years.  Outcomes?  What outcomes?  I think the only really progress is the enrichment of testing companies.  And yet, Duncan is using it as a threat against states. 

Duncan, in recent days, has shown himself to be stubborn so I'm guessing I am wrong about Washington State getting a slap on the wrist rather than the big hammer. 


mirmac1 said...

Do Obama and the Democrats expect to maintain control if 42 states get dissed by Arnie boy?

Anonymous said...

Ah yes, the "remedial services" that increased privatization of educational services exponentially with the passage of the worthless NCLB.


seattle citizen said...

Let them declare 95 percent of SPS schools "failing", and see how much credibility they retain. Let them try to "restructure" or whatever these "failing" schools, and see how much pushback the local community can exert.
The system(s) used to determine "failing schools" are absurd: They know it, we know it, and if they try to act on it they will be laughed out of the room.

Anonymous said...

mirmac1 - the Democratic Leadership Council / Neo-libs of Clinton-Obama democrats have been winning no matter what - the other side is a complete turn off on social issues for a large majority of the population (too many of whom don't vote!) and the Neo-libs have the relatively affluent, go along get along, don't rock the boat politically pathetic "progressives" living in! fear!! of!!! Mitt! or Palin!! with their decades of lessor of two evil (LOTE) strategy. For several decades, for a swath of the Democratic Party upper cru$t, it is has been a


mirmac1 said...

If that were true why did we end up with W for 8 years? And how is it Mitch McConnell. And Demos hold 51 seats in the Senate and suck it big in the House. Naw, it ain't a cake walk. If Seattle's schools are "failing" imagine what 99% of the rest of country will look like.

Anonymous said...

mirmac 1 - as far as I'm concerned, the sell outs of the neo-libs did fine during the 8 years of W - they got to burnish their cred on social issues, ("look at us! we're NOT like them!") and when Obama won & appointed Rahm & Geithner & Summers in Nov. 2008 - key players on the Democratic side in the lead up to the ponzi schemes of the Great Recession - they went from back bench 6+++ figure a year lives to front and center 6+++ figure a year living large.

When the Rahm crowd wasn't in power, it wasn't like they were hanging around busy intersections with a bucket and a squeegee, scrambling for windshields to clean.

While it is VERY possible you don't view them the way I do ... ummm ...


mirmac1 said...

I despise that crowd. You and I are in accord. They are (barely) the lesser of two evils. I think a 42 state diss will send them to the back bench again.

n said...

Make it three who are in accord. I'm not as articulate but I despise what is going and feel so powerless to do anything to fix it. That was the tacit meaning of my "nice" comment several threads ago. When are we going to stop being nice? We've lost the soapbox and people in droves are still choosing candidates who legislate against the interests of those very people.

How do we combat that? The internet? So far I haven't seen much from the internet except to give us all a place to commiserate.

I did not vote for Bill Clinton his second term and I did not vote for Obama his second term. The "lesser of two evils" just doesn't do it for me anymore.

Sorry, Melissa. I know this isn't a political blog but at some point it all connects, doesn't it?

Thanks for the opportunity mirmac to vent.

A 42-state diss? We'll see. I think you more optimistic than me.

Melissa Westbrook said...

N, you're right. There is so much politics (and money) now around public education that it has distorted the discussion.

Anonymous said...

Off thread question, but in one of the recent threads, I saw a change coming to the social studies progression. Of course, now I cannot find the document easily on the SPS website. Can someone point me in the right direction for the document? Wondering about APP freshman social studies options.