The federal No Child Left Behind Act established a lofty, but unrealistic goal of having 100% of all students in the nation passing every state-mandated test by 2014. While both political parties talk about rewriting the law, we’ve seen no substantive discussion to date. Last year, the federal government granted a waiver of key NCLB provisions to any state that asked for it, releasing those states from NCLB’s more burdensome provisions. Until this week, Texas was one of three states opting not to seek the waiver.
This week, the Texas Education Agency finally applied for a general waiver of certain NCLB provisions, contending that Texas’ accountability and assessment systems surpass the requirements of the NCLB statute. Let’s hope the waiver is granted. Otherwise, the cost of complying with NCLB will continue to divert critical local funds and create more teacher stress in Pasadena ISD and all other Texas districts.