The evidence suggests an NCLB Waiver Request is more of a formality rather than an objective process to improve education standards for students across the United States. In light of this reality, school districts, like the Guilford County School district in North Carolina, have made the decision to discontinue free tutoring for parents saying, “At last night’s Guilford County School’s Board of Education meeting, the Board decided to discontinue implementation of Supplemental Educational Services (SES) at the conclusion of the 2011-12 school year, pending approval of the waiver.” (This was contained in an e-mail sent to SES providers on April 27th, 2012)
What is interesting is that North Carolina will also have to vote in a shortened legislative session on education reforms presumably a condition of the waiver. Those reforms include eliminating teacher tenure, funding an extra 5 days in the school year (a reform that will require more money amidst budget cuts), and eliminating state financial support for an alternate route program (those interested in entering the teaching will instead have to pay around $5,000 for the privilege).
There is no guarantee these reforms will pass. Some educators have expressed doubts about funding these initiatives – Cumberland schools superintendent Frank Till calls North Carolina GOP plan ‘education reform on the cheap’ – while others question holding this kind of vote in a shortened legislative session.
The question is – if the reforms do not pass or if the vote is delayed, will North Carolina still be able to enjoy the “flexibility” of the Waiver? School districts seem to be moving forward as though they have received a waiver request and the general assembly has agreed to the reforms. While the state is likely to receive a waiver, the fate of the “reform” vote is much less certain.
Even if the legislature passes the education reform vote, those who understand how the system of education works, understand that implementation takes time – usually a full school year. How will school districts respond to the new requirements?
The North Carolina dilemma is just one example of the problems facing states who accepted waivers from the Department of Education. Waivers are presented as the answer to a flawed education system but it seems as though what we have are more questions.
Web Reference - Business Directory - Related Articles - Sitemap