Washington state seeks NCLB exemption

The Washington State School Directors’ Association (WSSDA) is asking the U.S. Department of Education (ED) for an exemption to a requirement that would cause almost every school district in Washington to send letters to parents stating that their schools are failing.

ED imposed the “failing” schools letter requirement when it cancelled the state’s waiver exempting it from funding penalties for not meeting the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Forty-three states and the District of Columbia have been granted such waivers, and none are expected to meet their adequate yearly progress (AYP) requirements under NCLB, but Washington state is the first to have its waiver revoked.

WSSDA says that while districts would be required to send the “failing” schools letters out to parents at least 14 days before the start of school, finalization of the year’s AYP measures for districts will last well into August, and some schools are scheduled to open before the end of the month.

“Many of these schools have been recognized for improved graduation rates, closing achievement gaps, high scores on national tests like the ACT and SAT and other signs of excellence,” said David Iseminger, a Lake Stevens school director and member of the WSSDA Board of Directors. “That 14-day letter does nothing to further any education goals. In fact, it does quite the opposite.”

Margaret Suslick|July 2nd, 2014|Categories: No Child Left Behind, School Boards, State School Boards Associations|Tags: , |


  1. Charles Hoff says:

    Washington has, with a few exceptions, failed both the NCLB and the waiver’s AMO measurements.

    And we want an exemption to the consequences?

    Extra tutoring and transportation to other schools should be denied?

    If, and when, we alert parents that schools will continue to fail until they take an active part in their children’s education.

    Far too many of our children are leaving our schools, either as drop outs, or inadequately educated “graduates.”

    Our achievement gap persists and there is little that can be done about it until this becomes a priority for parents.

    Schools cannot successfully educate children with absentee parents.

    Continued assurances by schools that their “children are doing well” will not improve this situation.

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