The weight behind testing scores may not be so heavy for local school districts this year. The government has announced waivers for No Child Left Behind requirements.
Local school districts seem glad to not have a mandate hanging over their heads, but they want to make it clear they are in favor of accountability.
No Child Left Behind requires schools to bring more students up to math and reading standards each year until every single student meets the government’s educational standards.
“To say that 100 percent of students will be proficient by 2014 seems a little bit unrealistic,? School District 25 Director of Curriculum Chuck Wegner said.
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the president authorized him to waive those requirements Monday.
It won’t necessarily get rid of the NCLB testing mandates everywhere, just for states that have adopted their own testing and accountability programs.
“Idaho is certainly one of those where our standards that we have in place and our benchmarks now are more aggressive and higher than a majority of the states,? Idaho Board of Education spokesman Mark Browning said.
Idaho’s Board of Education said the federal education law needs to be fixed, but at its core it’s correct.
“The essence of it, which is that every child shows improvement every year, is the goal of every educator and every person who is involved in the education system,? Browning said.
The state board said not having to face the mandates doesn’t give educators any excuse to stop working as hard.
“I know from our perspective we’re not really sitting back and breathing a sigh of relief. Because we know there is still work to be done. Our students are doing better than they’ve ever done, but there’s still room to grow,? Browning said.
District 25 leaders said the changes shouldn’t affect how teachers do their jobs, and students will still take the standardized tests during the spring.
“Parents of the students will see little difference as a result of the change,? Wegner said.
The waiver will make requirements for local school districts stay at 2010 levels.