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Hundreds of school boards want to opt out of No Child Left Behind

A school board in Virginia has voted unanimously to leave No Child Left Behind, which would mean joining a bevy of other boards across the country in sending a resolution to Sec. of Education Arne Duncan asking for the request.

The petition is a joint effort by The American Association of School Administrators and the National School Boards Association to “urge—absent Congressional reauthorization—immediate regulatory relief for the 2011-12 school year, and any efforts to rescind or modify current regulations and alleviate undue pressure on the nation’s schools.”

The letter continues:

We urge the Department of Education to exercise their regulatory authority to relieve school districts from the constraints of current statutes, keeping schools from being held hostage while Congress moves forward with complete reauthorization. We request that this relief be straight regulatory relief, not waivers. Schools deserve straight regulatory relief, and not the additional requirements or conditions that often come with waivers. We specifically support suspension of additional sanctions under current AYP requirements, effective for the 2011-12 school year. (Schools currently facing sanctions would remain frozen; no new schools would be labeled as ‘In Need of Improvement’ or subject to new or additional sanctions.)

Over 900 school districts have signed onto the proposal.

An article in The Free Lance-Star chronicled the Fredericksburg, Va district decision.

An example of what falling behind on Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) means according the statutes of NCLB, this article from Patch.com in Racine maps out the finding cutbacks the local district will endure.

From the article:

The entire Racine Unified School District is out of compliance with the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

Being in non-compliance means that RUSD won’t be able to control a sizeable chunk of federal money—about $700,000—that had gone to 17 schools with high populations of students in poverty. Instead, the dollars must be directed toward district-wide teacher training.

Lawmakers behind NCLB chose 2013-2014 to be the year all schools in the country achieve full proficiency according to state tests. In a recent statement advocating for the laws reform, Duncan said 83 percent of US schools are unlikely to meet this year’s benchmark.

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