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Washington first state to lose No Child Left Behind waiver –It'll cost

InsleeThe U.S. Department of Education has pulled Washington’s waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind law, saying the state has not met its timeline for linking evaluation of teachers and principals to students’ scores on state standardized tests.

Washington is the first state to lose its waiver, although Oregon is also on the Education Department’s “high risk” list.

The loss means that school districts across Washington will have less flexibility, and may be forced to redirect about $38 million in federal aid to private tutoring instead of being able to use money to pay for programs aimed at low-income students.

“Loss of that funding means those districts now face potential impacts that could include laying off some of Washington’s tremendous teachers or cutting back on programs that serve at-risk students, ” Gov. Jay Inslee said in a statement.

“I hope districts will work to mitigate impacts on students. I know that despite this setback, Washington teachers remain fully committed to serving our students.”

Loss of the waiver is a defeat for Inslee, the Washington Education Association and an embarrassment for Democrats in the Legislature allied with the teachers union.

The Department of Education put Washington on an “at risk” last last August, saying the Evergreen State’s teacher evaluation system had to be upgraded for Washington to keep its waiver.

The Legislature adjourned without doing the job, despite intense last minute negotiations between Inslee, lawmakers and a balking Washington Education Association. Inslee, in an understatement, said loss of the waiver was “disappointing, but not unexpected.”

In a letter to Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan put it bluntly:

“As you know, Washington’s request for ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act) flexibility was approved based on Washington’s commitments to carry out certain actions in support of key education reforms, ” Duncan told Dorn.

“In return for those commitments, we granted your State and your local school districts significant flexibility. However, Washington has not been able to keep all its commitments. Thus, although Washington has benefited from ESEA flexibility, I regret that Washington’s flexibility will end with the 2013-14 school year.”

Loss of the waiver also means that most schools in Washington will get an official failing label because they have fallen short of performance standards set under federal education laws.

“School districts will be required to send letters to parents explaining why their schools are not making measurable, annual progress in improving student learning, ” Excellent Schools Now, a reform group, said in a statement.

Dorn, the state schools superintendent, put blame squarely on the teachers unions.

“Student progress should be one of multiple elements in a teacher’s evaluation, ” Dorn said in a statement. ”Unfortunately the teachers union (WEA) felt it was more important to protect their members than agree to that change and pressured the Legislature not to act.”

But U.S. Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., argued that No Child Left Behind is flawed and needs to be fixed by Congress.

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Awards for the World's Best!

by justyouraveragecitizen

Translated by Francisco González and revised by Alfred Sola
by Eduardo Galeano
La Jornada (originally titled 'Trofeos' in spanish)
February 12, 2002
1. In spite of the terrorists who, with some regularity, are born in its sacred sands, Saudi Arabia is the main bastion of the Western world in the Middle East.
It is a democratic monarchy: it sells every day--at low prices--one and a half million barrels of oil to the United States; and it buys every day--at high prices--ten million dollars worth of arms from the United States

Refuting Liberal Libel against Ashcroft Point by Point

by GOP

Attorney General-Designate John Ashcroft Opposes Civil Rights?
The Smear
Rev. Jesse Jackson: “Those who are with the civil rights agenda must not choose collegiality over civil rights and social justice.” (Audrey Hudson, “Democrats Set For Ashcroft’s Confirmation,” The Washington Times, January 4, 2001)
Ralph Neas Of People For The American Way: “[John Ashcroft is] an astonishingly bad nomination.” Neas went on to call Ashcroft’s record on civil rights “abysmal.” (Oliver North, “Merits Of Ashcroft At Justice,” The Washington Times, December 31, 2000)
AFL-CIO President John Sweeney: “Taken together with the nominations of John Ashcroft and Gale Norton, the tapping of Chavez sounds a noisy alarm about President-elect...

Monsanto: Corporate Greed, Ugliness and outright Crime

by justyouraveragecitizen

Monsanto Hid Decades Of Pollution
PCBs Drenched Ala. Town, But No One Was Ever Told
By Michael Grunwald
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 1, 2002; Page A01
ANNISTON, Ala. -- On the west side of Anniston, the poor side of Anniston, the people ate dirt. They called it 'Alabama clay' and cooked it for extra flavor. They also grew berries in their gardens, raised hogs in their back yards, caught bass in the murky streams where their children swam and played and were baptized. They didn't know their dirt and yards and bass and kids -- along with the acrid air they breathed -- were all contaminated with chemicals

Countering misinformation and 'misdirection'

by Libertarian

****Assessment is central to every educational theory I have ever read, not just 'OBE.' And no one I know, or read, says that 'testing' is invalid as a means of assessment. However, MANY people say that testing is limited as an assessment tool, and should be supplememted by multiple other forms aof assessment, *one* of which is portfolios.
1) There is no meaningful assessment within the OBE curriculum because the “outcomes” are so vaguely defined. There are only “feelings” and objective criteria become irrelevant. Almost all OBE plans include long lists of outcomes, sometimes hundreds

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