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Haslam joins president in changing NCLB

Haslam joins president in changing NCLB
Nashville – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam put partisan differences aside on Friday to join President Obama as he announced that states will be given more freedom to opt out of key parts of the federal “No Child Left Behind” (NCLB) law.
Tennessee had formally requested a waiver in July.
Kenya Bradshaw, state director of Tennessee Stand for Children, says that, while the law has its flaws, Tennessee has made significant strides toward improving education standards across the state.
“It held schools accountable for the quality of their teachers and the results that they were producing.”
She believes these changes will have a major impact on the future of public education, both locally and nationally, by making it more likely that future reform initiatives will be successful.
During his weekly radio address, President Obama noted the importance of the making the change promptly.
“Our kids only get one shot at a decent education, and they can’t afford to wait any longer.”
The President says the NCLB law needs immediate changes to better align with the “Race to the Top” program.
Bradshaw says that, at the national level, the Department of Education’s leadership provides the breakthrough needed to get this conversation moving.
She says NCLB must be revamped and that educators are applauding Governor Haslam for having Tennessee be the first state to seek a waiver.
“We, as community advocates, need to ensure that that information is always still front and center.
“We’re educating our community around how our children are doing and then helping to hold the district and the state accountable, to make sure that when times get hard, we don’t slack up and we continue on this road.”
Bradshaw adds that schools and teachers should be measured fairly and in ways that honor their good work, rather than demoralizing them for being unable to reach standards that many viewed as unrealistic.

WCP 9.27.11

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