Wednesday, January 19, 2005

What's an Ed. Dept. to do?

Today's WaPo has a story on the Virginia State Board of Education's decision to ask for flexibility in its implementation of NCLB:

Republicans in the General Assembly have introduced bills that would direct the board to request such exemptions. The legislators say the federal act disrupts the state's Standards of Learning testing program, put into place in the 1990s. (emphasis mine)

The board decided Wednesday to request that the U.S. Education Department exempt Virginia from 10 areas of the law.

The Ed Dept. is in a quandary here. If they agree, it's a slippery slope; there will be nothing to stop every state in the Union from asking for exemptions from this part and that part of the law. But if they don't agree, they risk alienating the administrators, superintendents, school boards, and state boards that are so critical to the law's implementation and possibly even provoking Virginia or some other state into opting out of NCLB and forfeiting federal education money. I don't think any state would actually do that, but some enterprising politicians could get a lot of media attention -- and cause a lot of headaches for the Ed Dept. -- by pushing to opt out.

The reaction from Washington to Virginia's request will be worth some careful attention.


Blogger EdWonk said...

We have linked this post on our latest Extra Credit. Here is the URL:

Thanks :)

12:11 AM  

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