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Now that the Obama administration is offering waivers to states that have been bound by No Child Left Behind—-the Bush-era policy that forced schools to show year-over-year testing improvements—-WAMU reports that D.C. is joining 40 states who are applying for a waiver.
Kayleen Irizarry, the assistant superintendent of elementary and secondary education for all D.C.’s public schools, both traditional and charter, says there are a lot of aspects of No Child Left Behind she supports, but she echoes the Obama administration’s call to move beyond “bubble tests and dumbed down standards.”
She says the problem with NCLB is it only focuses on whether a school has made the target or not. And the bar is continually being raised.
“It applied a standard that was uniform to all schools and didn’t take into account the uniqueness of a school or other contributions that get at how a school is performing,” she says. “Such as how many students are taking advanced courses, how many teachers are rated highly effective, what is our truancy rate.”
And USA Today notes that the Department of Education is simultaneously trying to cut out teacher cheating on tests in the wake of scandals in both D.C. and Atlanta.