Oregon Unveils Draft Of No Child Left Behind Waiver Application

Dec 20, 2011
Originally published on December 20, 2011 3:25 pm

SALEM, Ore. – Oregon school districts would create their own student achievement goals under a draft plan unveiled Tuesday by state education officials. That's one part of a request for a waiver from the federal "No Child Left Behind" education law.

Critics of the Bush-era policy have long said it forces schools to "teach to the test." Under the draft Oregon proposal, it would be school districts — not the federal government — that would answer the question: "What is success?"

Those achievement goals would be based on the district's historical performance. The state would still need to sign off.

Ben Cannon is the education advisor to Governor John Kitzhaber. He says the idea is to move away from what he calls the "cookie-cutter" approach of No Child Left Behind.

"In every school there are things that are happening well. In some schools, there are things that are not," Cannon says. "And we believe that the state's approach, and that a district's approach to improving schools should be based on a real understanding of what the challenges are in those schools."

Oregon education officials are taking public comments and plan to submit the proposal to the feds by late January.

Idaho is also preparing a waiver application. Washington has not yet decided whether to apply for a "No Child Left Behind" waiver.

On the Web:

Oregon's "No Child Left Behind" waiver application:

http://www.ode.state.or.us/search/page/?id=3475

No CHild Left Behind:

http://www2.ed.gov/nclb/landing.jhtml

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