Obama Administration Exempting Schools from Federal Law’s Testing Mandate

Donna Gordon Blankinship, CNS News, August 8, 2011

State and local education officials have been begging the federal government for relief from student testing mandates in the federal No Child Left Behind law, but school starts soon and Congress still hasn’t answered the call.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan says he will announce a new waiver system Monday to give schools a break.

The plan to offer waivers to all 50 states, as long as they meet other school reform requirements, comes at the request of President Barack Obama, Duncan said. More details on the waivers will come in September, he said.

The goal of the No Child Left Behind law is to have every student proficient in math and reading by 2014. {snip}

The step-by-step ramping up of the 9-year-old law has caused heartburn in states and most school districts, because more and more schools are labeled as failures as too few of their students meet testing goals.

Critics say the benchmarks are unrealistic and brands schools as failures even if they make progress. Schools and districts where too few kids pass the tests for several years are subject to sanctions that can include firing teachers or closing the school entirely.

Through the waivers, schools will get some relief from looming deadlines to meet testing goals as long as they agree to embrace other kinds of education reforms such as raising standards, helping teachers and principals improve, and focusing on fixing the lowest performing schools.


Duncan has warned that 82 percent of U.S. schools could be labeled failures next year if No Child Left Behind is not changed. Education experts have questioned that estimate, but state officials report a growing number of schools facing sanctions under the law.



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22 Responses to “Obama Administration Exempting Schools from Federal Law’s Testing Mandate” Subscribe

  1. Anonymous August 8, 2011 at 6:34 pm #

    “Duncan has warned that 82 percent of U.S. schools could be labeled failures next year ”

    82 percent of U.S. schools are failures

  2. policedogtrainer August 8, 2011 at 6:41 pm #

    my friend was a teacher for a year at a black city school because she quote wanted to help the world etc she quit because the 12 year olds told her they would beat her if they got low marks and when she gave less then high marks her car windows would all be smashed out so she gave all A grades and then quit then moved back home with mom and dad

  3. Jack August 8, 2011 at 6:49 pm #

    What an absurd misrepresentation.

    You pathetic failing schools can do whatever you like.

    Ohh, I forgot, you want all those taxpayer dollars to waste!

    No sympathy here, don’t want to perform no fed dollars as far as I am concerned.

    Most of them that are failing are just turning out delinquents anyways.

    It would be cheaper to just start incarcerating them now.

  4. Diane D August 8, 2011 at 7:10 pm #

    Going aroung Congress again?

  5. OBSERVER August 8, 2011 at 7:12 pm #

    Well, if Blacks can’t pass a test that Asians and Whites can…..get rid of the test.

  6. olewhitelady August 8, 2011 at 7:21 pm #

    Since the liberals can never admit defeat–which would mean acknowledgement of black inferiority–the government will simply allow “waivers” from compliance. In the meantime, standards will be raised, and teachers, principals, and schools will be required to theoretically improve.

    It’s gotten to be this way in many American businesses. If workers fail to follow a list of ten rules, the bosses add more rules instead of trying to enforce the first ten! It’s like the absurd liberal notion that if Johnny can’t do sums, then he must be put in calculus class. Then, apparently, the magic possessed by smart students will rub off–a notion truly believed only by ignoramuses.

    Hopefully, the waiver system will lead to a complete abandonment of the comparison of black and Hispanic students with whites and Asians.

  7. Anonymous August 8, 2011 at 7:57 pm #

    “The goal of the No Child Left Behind law is to have every student proficient in math and reading by 2014.”

    This law was so ill-conceived. I remember when I first heard this lofty goal. Then I thought of my urban ‘youff’ students. Not a single one of them was on grade level. More like they were all from 2-8 grade levels behind in high school. Nothing has changed. I have so many eleventh graders who are at, and I am not exagerating here, a first grade reading level, that it is sad. I try my best to help them, but you can only do so much with what you’ve got. I put on my best superman performance every day, but 80% of my students care NOTHING for ‘white’ knowledge, which is what modern knowledge essentially is.

  8. Luc Fiberals August 8, 2011 at 8:15 pm #

    Yes, Mr Duncan, by all means give the schools a break. Let’s not think of any accountability here. In fact let’s just give all involved a raise, right?

    People, are you watching what’s going on in London? We’ll be there before the end of summer.

  9. Question Diversity August 8, 2011 at 8:36 pm #

    Arne Duncan stumbled on doing the right thing, but is doing it for the wrong reason. The good news that this (hopefully) takes some pressure off white teachers who have the indignity of teaching a largely black and Hispanic room full of students, because s/he won’t get blamed for their students’ low test scores. On the other hand, they’re only granting testing waivers because blacks and Hispanics have a hard time passing or doing well.

  10. Bill R August 8, 2011 at 8:40 pm #

    Taking the black affirmative action hire teachers out of the equation (and they ARE part of the problem and the blame) results in no other cause being left but the STUDENTS themselves as the problem and the failure. We all know it. But nobody is permitted to say it. Or do anything that would address the real problem – mature in body but immature and retarded in mind (and always will be) segment of the population responsible for the failing schools. Failing students not up to learning much beyond the basics, if that. If they cared. And many DO NOT. Put the habitual low achievers in special schools (not special ed classes in regular schools). Put the regular achieves in regular schools. Put the high achievers in advanced placement classes in the schools.

    Which, in fact, would result in re-segregation of schools…..and why it is VERBOTEN to address the real problem this way – the only way – to address the real problem.

  11. Former Schoolteacher August 8, 2011 at 8:40 pm #

    NCLB has to be the most stupid system of education ever invented. It threatens both administrators and teachers, forcing them not to come up with better ways to teach, but to cover their rear ends by cheating on test scores. It eliminates any and all creativity in teachers on the job; instead, they’re given “scripted” lessons, and every teacher in the same grade has to be saying the exact same thing at the exact same time. Complete morons could have done a better job of designing an educational model. I NEVER would have gone into teaching had I known that NCLB was coming. It destroyed any desire I had to teach, and I lost my health and savings because of it. I don’t know how anyone managed to stay on the job and deal with it. The students were NOT helped one bit, and the staffs were beaten down by it. I wish there were someone I could sue.

  12. Anonymous August 8, 2011 at 10:02 pm #

    Do away with schools,give all a computer,internet,and then if the parents want them to learn it will be up to them.Have each county with a system to monitor keystrokes and online time.All school is,is glorified baby sitting,with very little learning.You have total disregard for teachers in every state and guns,fighting,and chance of violence everyday.Save on fuel(good for enviroment),brick and mortar(good for enviroment),qualified teachers are so few,nobody killed,etc,etc….

    you could cut the taxes to 5-10% of whats paid now to fund this.

    you can go to college online at anywhere,so lets start now with the kids,they learn it so fast already and most would love to do it that way.

  13. Anonymous August 8, 2011 at 11:02 pm #

    electroshock test taker…. learn or get tased bro!

  14. KRSOUTHERNER August 8, 2011 at 11:24 pm #

    This is just another example of liberals controlling our so called “educational system” in America. They are dumbing down the system so they can claim triumph, and to re-assure parents (who have been dumbed down themselves) that their children are getting a good education. What a crock!

  15. Anonymous August 8, 2011 at 11:32 pm #

    There is no amount of money or anything else that will ever close the intelligence gap. I’ve said it before, let’s all start calling it the “intelligence gap”.

  16. Cat Patrol August 8, 2011 at 11:32 pm #

    Only about 40% of public school students are White, thats why test scores are so low.

    If the testing standards are going to be thrown out, then take back the federal money as well. Education is a state responsibility.

  17. Anonymous August 9, 2011 at 3:29 am #

    NCLB….I guess that’s what the Atlanta teachers doing.

  18. Anonymous August 9, 2011 at 10:16 am #

    I hope all teachers give their students reading (or math) comprepehsion tests the very first day. Chart the results. Keep the tests themselves safe. During the last weeks of school, give the same reading (or math) comprehension tests again. Chart the results. Keep the tests safe. Compare.

    In the meantime, one of our teacher mills is sending out postcards for a new Masters program–the “Race to the Top” Masters Degree. What the heck was wrong with the “No Child Left Behind” Masters Degree they were selling a few years ago?

  19. Allan August 9, 2011 at 1:23 pm #

    In the 40+ years I have lived in the midwest, I have always been thankful that I went to High School in New York State, where we had to take state regents exams in all our major subjects. Even those few who took a “local diploma” (which our teachers referred to as an attendance certificate) knew what the standards were. Out here in the midwest there is no real standard for a high school diploma. And it shows.

    I don’t suppose that in New Yort State the standards are still what they were fifty years ago, but I imagine they are still higher than they are out here.

  20. Teddy August 9, 2011 at 1:53 pm #

    Some of you posters irritate me:

    Heck if it wasn’t for Special Programs with no form of Testing allowed we might not have our Great leader obama in office.

    Why do blacks even need to be tested?

    Didn’t they invent eveeything and develop our civilization.

    These Great Minds can’t relate to the slow pace of our schools they are all in the genius catagory already I thought?

  21. Shawn (the female) August 9, 2011 at 2:37 pm #

    Yesterday was the first day of school in the well-publicized Atlanta Public School District. On the evening news, a young white female in her first year of teaching was interviewed. Not just her first year of teaching; she was teaching middle school in the Teach For America Program – her first mistake. The school was, according to the report, 86 per cent English as a Second Language school The entire SCHOOL. Not just her class.

    The girl was so shell-shocked she could barely utter a coherent word. She was literally wild eyed, pale and shaking. When the reporter asked her about tomorrow, after completing her first day, the poor girl zoned out staring into nothingness, ever so slightly shaking her head.

    As a side note to this story, this morning I called Verizon Wireless about a well-worn problem we have of poor reception in my area. We had exhausted every avenue and amount of energy we had before finally deciding to switch carriers. I called Verizon and, long story short, was told by an obviously black female rep THREE TIMES to call Verizon back “after the other carrier has tooken over your lines.” I said, “excuse me?” She repeated it. And again. So I asked her, ‘and who is it I’m talking with?”

    She replied, “Shamika.” I said, ” Well, SHAMIKA, The word is ‘taken.’ TAKEN. There is no such word as tooken. You must have gotten your diploma in Atlanta.” Click.

    I came this close to telling her that now I knew how she got the job.

  22. Anonymous August 10, 2011 at 2:00 am #

    Arnie Duncan’s chief agenda has been gay bullying.Now he’s got a tough problem to deal with.Perhaps the need to give waivers keeps the Atlanta teachers out of jail..