Wednesday, February 16, 2005

California on Spellings' bad list

Well, just when you thought it was safe to say that Sec. Spellings might be a little more flexible than her predecessor, you read this. Look out, California. The wrath of the federal government will soon be at your door. (Run, Utah. Don't walk-- run from this law!)

It seems California didn't fail enough of its schools! They need to fail more, says the federal government. And when they fail, they need more resources to provide tutoring and transportation for students transfering out of the district. But don't ask the federal government for the money. They're really good at mandating things-- let's just say they aren't making "adequate progress" on the funding side of things. Perhaps we should shut down the Department of Education. Have it taken over. Or at least provide tutoring for them. Hell, I'll pay for it.

From the article about California's alarming lack of failure in the LA Times:

The Bush administration is pressing California to toughen its rules for identifying failing school districts — a change that could add 310 school systems to a watch list this year and eventually threaten the jobs of superintendents and school board members throughout the state.

The U.S. Department of Education warned that it could cut off money to the state if California did not change the way it classified struggling districts under the No Child Left Behind Act.

...Leaders of several California school systems said it would be unfair to identify failing districts in the middle of the school year without any notice or time to respond. The district officials wondered where the money would come from to create new programs aimed at improving student test scores.

"The entire notion of how No Child Left Behind has been enacted is very narrow, very myopic and very draconian," said Santa Monica-Malibu Unified Supt. John Deasy. "It sets up a very negative dynamic for schools that have successfully shown they can raise achievement over time."

We're all wondering where the money will come from. And while supporters of No Child Left Behind pooh-pooh these critiques as nothing more than excuses, there is no doubt that the cost of education is rising significantly. If the Administration is going to insist on compliance, they must provide the resources to make it possible. So far, they -- not the schools -- are failing.


Blogger EdWonk said...

I teach down here in rural south-eastern California. Things are awful, and getting worse. All our classes are at 35 students.

It seems that all this extra funding doesn't reach the classroom.

And the goal-posts keep getting set back every year. (When we get close to scoring.)

10:29 AM  

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