Dear Commons Community,
Washington has the distinction of being the first state to return to the federal government’s disastrous No Child Left Behind guidelines enacted during George W. Bush’s presidency. NCLB was so bad that once President Bush was out of office, 43 states including Washington asked for waivers from its requirements. However, current US Department of Education guidelines are not much better. As reported in The Huffington Post:
“Washington’s standing became precarious because it did not meet the federal government’s new guidelines, which tie students’ standardized test scores to teacher evaluations. In February, Washington’s legislature killed a bill that would have brought the state into compliance with those teacher evaluation requirements. Current state law says that teacher evaluations can rely on standardized test scores but does not require it. Despite [Arne] Duncan’s explicit warning that failure to comply could mean loss of the state waiver, the bill failed with bipartisan opposition.
So yesterday, Duncan announced the state’s waiver will not be renewed, requiring the state to return to the Bush-era education law.”
What a shameful state of affairs when the education of children has to be decided between two sets of deeply flawed federal policies. The US Department of Education continues to demonstrate that the US Constitution was right in leaving the governance of education to states and localities.