Thursday, June 28, 2012

Out of Touch and Turning Back the Clock: Romney on Education

 Views expressed in this post are strictly those of the author and do
not reflect the endorsement of the Learning First Alliance or any of its members.
by Dennis Van Roekel, President of the National Education Association (NEA) * EDUCATION WEEK

It was hard not to be taken aback earlier this month when presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his top supporters, including Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, again demonstrated how out of touch they are with ordinary Americans by voicing their desire to cut back on police, firefighters, and teachers. But the 3 million teachers, cafeteria workers, librarians, and other educators I work with weren't surprised.
That's because Mr. Romney has already revealed how little he understands about the issues that are important to the rest of us. Take his education agenda, for example. Today, few topics unite liberals and conservatives, but almost everyone seems to agree that George W. Bush's No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law has failed. There's almost unilateral agreement that NCLB's focus on standardized testing and punishing is wrong; it hurts our schools and our children.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Iowa’s NCLB Waiver Application: Denied

Iowa has become the first state to be denied a No Child Left Behind Waiver with Branstad and Glass blaming the Iowa Legislature.

Iowa has been denied a No Child Left Behind waiver because its educator evaluation system did not meet federal requirements due to the absence of student achievement being built into the evaluation process. Governor Terry Branstad has been privately and publicly warning of this scenario for months with only apathetic response from the State Legislature.
“Responsibility for the denial of this request lies squarely at the feet of the Iowa Legislature, which did too little to improve our schools despite repeated warnings,” the governor said in a statement. “The education reform plan Lt. Gov. (Kim) Reynolds and I proposed would have ensured a waiver from the onerous federal No Child Left Behind law.”