State considers asking Obama administration to waive No Child Left Behind requirements

Wednesday, July 6, 2011 at 12:29pm

Tennessee is considering asking the Obama administration to waive some of the requirements of the No Child Left Behind law for this state’s schools, Gov. Bill Haslam said Wednesday.

President Obama has asked Congress to reform parts of the law, which can limit funding to schools failing to meet student achievement standards.

According to some estimates, up to 80 percent of the country’s schools soon could be classified as failing if accountability standards aren’t changed. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has said he will waive some of the law’s requirements for states that request it. Many states are expected to do so.

“We are in the middle of a lot of discussions about what we should do about that,” Haslam told reporters, adding that he doesn’t think Congress will reform the law soon.

“It seems like to me that Congress is kind of at a stalemate and nothing will get passed. If that happens, we’re going to have an inordinate amount of schools” classified as failing.  “Everybody realizes so many schools are going to not meet that criteria [that] something’s going to have to be done. That’s a very real possibility that might happen.”

23 Comments on this post:

By: spooky24 on 7/6/11 at 2:03

Great idea. Lower the standards even more to produce even dumber kids than we do now. No small wonder that US kids are so far behind countries like China, Japan and even Germany.
Heaven forbid asking these spoiled kids do actually do some work-it might violate their rights in some way.


By: localboy on 7/6/11 at 2:24

Yea, but we still dress waaay cooler...:)

By: concretemike on 7/6/11 at 2:47

According to some estimates, up to 80 percent of the country’s schools soon could be classified as failing if accountability standards aren’t changed. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has said he will waive some of the law’s requirements for states that request it. Many states are expected to do so.

Sounds to me like we need to make "CHANGES" at 80 percent of the country’s schools so they start meeting the standards and start turning out young adults that can be productive members of an ever advancing society. But I digress I can't wait to see the pandering and union crying about money and teachers when obviously they aren't doing their jobs now! The real irony of the situation is that the unprepared young adults they are turning out today will be the ones supporting these teachers and administrators in their retirement.....or not!

By: pswindle on 7/6/11 at 5:10

You mean, Bush's "No Child Left Behind." Where they were taught the test. That's the reason these children are left behind. He was in office for 8 years, long enough to ruin a whole generation of children.

By: Redbarron06 on 7/7/11 at 5:47

Here's an idea, why dont we sue the federal govt and have them demostrate where "no child left behind" is under the authority granted to them by the Constitution. How about another idea, let those that pull their kids out of public school and send them to private school get the money they are paying to support the failing public indoctronation program. Introduce a little competition into the public school system and we will see some of the sorry ass union teachers kicked out on their cans and we can get somebody that wants to do the job rather than just get paid.

By: gdiafante on 7/7/11 at 7:24

Yeah, let's let everyone pick and choose what tax to pay. That's brilliant. You think we have a revenue problem now?

Also, let's jump on the anti-union bandwagon instead of holding, not only the teachers, but the parents and students responsible.

Until we get past this blame game, nothing will change.

By: american1974 on 7/7/11 at 7:50

America was ranked number 2 in science and math before the Department of Education was created under the Jimmy Carter administration. Ever since the Federal Government got involved in education, we have gone downhill. Now, I think we are now ranked somewhere around 37th. Back in the day, all the states would try different approaches and the states would learn from each other. Now, just like someone depends on welfare, the states look for the Government for answers and they don’t have any. As well the parents look to the state, that is looking at the fed for answers.
(SIDE NOTE: The money the Federal Government bribes the states with comes from the printing of money that comes from nowhere, that causes inflation, that is a hidden tax on the poor, which drives up prices and hurts the very people the fed claims they are helping. The creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913 has helped cause every 30-40 year financial burst.)
I hope everyone realizes that before liberal education (not left or right) was created, there was classical education. A classical education develops someone to be so well rounded and mature, they can pursue any path they desire. It also prepares a child for the ignorance of American pop culture to come his way by the time he is a teen and to ignore it.
Today we just have facts spewed to kids with no philosophy. Of course today’s teachers are all given a liberal education in college to prepare them for the public school system. If anything but cold hard facts are not given, there is the threat of suing the school system.
Some would say to tax one person to pay for another person’s child’s education is “legal plunder” also called stealing. And that the public school system in general is a failure. I will at least say, the experiment for the Federal Government to get involved in the public school system is a complete failure.
I will play the devil’s advocate here and say personally, I’m not exactly convinced that forcing every single child into a system that make them think they will one day get a desk job and never perform manual labor is a good thing. The more I look the public school system experiment, the more I’m convinced that for any entity (besides the community at the lowest level) to get involved in altering the natural state of society in order to create a utopian society will eventually degrade, fail and each fall will hurt worse than the last.

By: Redbarron06 on 7/7/11 at 8:12

to gdiafante:

Until we ID the problem we cant fix it now can we. Throwing money at it is not the answer and history has proven it over and over again. Yes parents should be more involved in the childs education but when you call the school and you get the english teacher on the phone and they make statements like, and I do quote "your child DONE gone home". These are the people that the unions are protecting and using my tax money to protect them. People that can not even build simple statements are teaching children how to build those same statements. If you dont have kids in public school, you should not be paying taxes to support the public schools. It is that simple.

Part of the problem is the unions. Another part is public schools have no competition. They are going to get your money no matter what. The school my child goes to has a 99% graduation rate and a 90+% schollarship rate, why is that when the teachers get paid 2/3rds of what public school teachers get paid? Because they are in competition with other private schools. If they dont perform they have to get new jobs. Where is the performance incentive in public school?

And no we dont have a revenue problem, what we have is a spending problem. The govt is paying for program after program that they have no authority to be running. Programs like DOE, SS, MEDICARE and MEDICADE is what is breaking this nation not revenue. Lets get back to the constitution and bring this country back to what made it the best in the world at everything.

By: BigPapa on 7/7/11 at 9:05

Why have requirements if you can get a waiver?

By: macjedi on 7/7/11 at 9:16

Here's an idea. Let's worry more about actually TEACHING than retarded dress codes that make no sense and don't accomplish anything. Asking for a pass on the standards is stupid, and will generate even more stupid students.

By: OnTomorrow on 7/7/11 at 10:58

People really should know what they are talking about before they comment. The standards have been going up since the inception of the law, 9 year ago. The law says, in 2012, like 95% of all students (regardless of race, socioeconomic status, special education, etc) will be at grade level in reading and math. That number goes up to 100% in 2014. I have a child with special needs. He is 4 and will start Kindergarten next year. He doesnt talk, he isnt potty trained, he knows his letters and numbers and loves music. In 2 years, when he isn't able to read on a 1st grade level, his school will be labeled failing because 100% of the students aren't on grade level....NOW do you see how ludicrous this law is? Instead of focusing on what's not happening in schools, why not celebrate what is happening. NCLB HAS focused our attention on standards based instruction. It HAS focused our attention on data-based decision making. It HAS allowed students/teachers/ and parents to see where they are compared to where they need to be. The accountability piece to NCLB needs to be scrapped and the focus needs to be use the data to make things better.

By: briggslcp on 7/7/11 at 12:17

I can't believe that the state has the nerve to ask for a waiver after having received $500 million in Race To The Top Funds. Sounds like a matter of snatching the dollars and then asking not to be held accountable.

By: budlight on 7/7/11 at 1:40

briggslcp, isn't that the American way for some people? I mean look at the people who are currently living in homes financed by banks and in foreclosure. I heard one man say he had lived in his house for 5 years now and NOT PAID A DIME, but the foreclosure papers have not been completed.

Wonder if he's saving the money he is NOT paying out to live in the house? Or is he blowing it? I'd probably be safe if I said he's blowing it. That is not accountability, now is it?

By: GammaMoses on 7/7/11 at 2:05

In most countries, education is considered a privilege, not a right. Parents who do not value education should not be forced to send children to school. Children who do not value education should not be forced to sit in a classroom. This would make for a classroom with minimal discipline problems creating a more conducive learning environment.

By: Ingleweird on 7/8/11 at 5:58

Redistributing the wealth - not just for liberals anymore!

I see the Republicans are no more capable of taking principled stands than Democrats. It would appear that Republicans are just as reliant on other peoples' tax dollars as Democrats. Truth hurts.

@briggs: Great point!

By: Moonglow1 on 7/8/11 at 6:27

Moonglow1: Agree with Ingleweird & briggs. The Tea Republicans are always the first in line for a government handout. Most of the bums in Wisconsin working for Scott Walker grab their farm subsidies while Bauchmann and her husband took subsidies for his gay bashing psychotherapy clinic and took in foster kids to make some extra cash. Then we have Halliburton and Blackwater whose right wing CEOs made Billions off the Republican unilateral wars. Education? No Child Left Behind was a Bush "accomplishment. ". Let us leave All Tea Republicans Behind" and vote them out.

By: Ingleweird on 7/8/11 at 7:52

Your suggestion is nonsense. Children should not be denied an education because of personal or parental apathy. Would you support government assistance because they don't know how to apply for a job or never learned their ABCs? Of course not. Maybe we need separate instruction places with specialized educators for problem children. Of course, that would involve actually investing in education - Republicans would never have it (stupid people (though not necessarily ALL Republican voters) keep them in power). Mandatory education - it's a no-brainer.

By: HighlyAnnoyed on 7/8/11 at 8:12

Well, when you live in a state that is full of morons that want to teach creationism in schools, it's no surprise our students are below average.

By: GammaMoses on 7/8/11 at 8:14

Mandatory education, as implemented now, isn't working. Evidence--Dept. of Education head Arne Duncan is issuing wavers to states who do not meet education accountability standards. If mandatory education is a no-brainer, children would be educated under "no child left behind" policy. Sad truth is that our classrooms are turning into jungles where the undisciplined rule. Smart kids are being dumbed down having to listen to teachers discipline acting out kids who don't want to be there. If you have a solution to this present situation, post it. Keeping a child in a classroom when they don't want to be there isn't a solution.

By: Ingleweird on 7/8/11 at 9:00

Please re-read my previous post. I suggested "separate instruction places with specialized educators for problem children." Special Ed. instructors would be uniquely qualified for this task, as they know how to take a child to the ground and restrain them, if they are being disruptive. Of course, this involves a revenue committment from the state; a committment which the current administration and TGA would be highly UNLIKELY (if not outright unwilling) to support. Of course, my argument from the getgo is: why is our Republican leadership so insistent on these entitlements? Our state is a "welfare mom;" if our state is using its own money, it should be held to a higher accountability for the efficient use of funds. The state receives more Federal money than it contributes; why should the Feds be responsible for our failures? Tennessee's situation represents the hypocrisy of red state Republicanism: no wealth redistribution unless it benefits us!

By: Ingleweird on 7/8/11 at 9:06

S/h/b: ...if our state WAS using its own money...

By: Ingleweird on 7/8/11 at 9:13

Of course, how could Republicans stay in power without making you think you are paying less taxes with them? Our failures are at least partially attributable to our unwillingness to pay our fair share of taxes.

You want half-ass funding, then don't be surprised with half-ass results! You get what you pay for, and sometimes, then some.

By: shef2 on 7/8/11 at 7:15

Really. It all comes down to better Teachers (who are not paid enough for what they do, & those who don't do a good job, shouldn't ...) AND, Parenting- Especially, Parenting-!
Parents have every opportunity to talk with their child's teachers, as to what's going on.
If the child isn't doing well in school, Parents should at least TRY to find out WHY...