How Will Jacksonville Schools Be Affected by No Child Left Behind Change? | Schools

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How Will Jacksonville Schools Be Affected by No Child Left Behind Change?
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How Will Jacksonville Schools Be Affected by No Child Left Behind Change?

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-- News of a change in the No Child Left Behind Act brought a sigh of relief to failing schools in Jacksonville, perhaps prematurely.

President Barack Obama's Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced Monday that some states would be granted waivers to the law, allowing some failing schools to get a passing grade.

"It is far too punitive. It is far too prescriptive. It led to a dummying down of standards," said Duncan.

He called the current No Child Left Behind Act a slow moving trainwreck, and now he's poised to override the core function of the law: to have 100% of children proficient in math and reading by 2014.

"At a time when we have to get better, faster at education than we ever have, we can't have the law of the land be one that has so many perverse incentives, or distinctiveness to the kind of progress we want to see," he said.

Duncan said the law has encouraged school districts to lower their standards to gain compliance- and put the emphasis on testing instead of teaching.

He also called the standards too stringent.

According to the Department of Education, 89 percent of Florida's Public Schools missed the bar by Federal Standards.  But by the state's own standards, 58 percent of schools earned an "A" grade.

"A huge amount of leadership and courage, not so much coming out of here in Washington, but at the state level," he said.

Florida has largely complied with the Education Department's recommendations so far: switching teachers to a merit-based pay scale, and adding charter schools, five in Duval County this year alone.

But it remains unclear if those efforts will be enough.

Duncan told reporters the standards for granting a waiver won't be published until September, and states will have to prove they are making progress in education.

"We need more highly trained, highly skilled workers.  We need to keep raising standards, raising the bar," he said.

Individual states will have to apply for the waiver, and there is no guarantee Florida will be granted one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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