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Teachers Unions Oppose NCLB Waiver That the ‘CA 9’ Want

Hillel Aron | July 19, 2013

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CTA President Dean Vogel and UTLA President Warren Fletcher at an "Occupy LAUSD" rally in 2011

CTA President Dean Vogel and UTLA President Warren Fletcher at an “Occupy LAUSD” rally in 2011

The California Office to Reform Education, a group of nine California school districts, including LAUSD, met with federal officials this week to make a last pitch for a No Child Left Behind waiver, which would exempt those districts from meeting certain requirements.

One little wrinkle though: last Friday, a group of nine teachers unions, including California Teachers Association and United Teachers of Los Angeles signed a letter opposing the waiver.

This might seem a bit odd, given that unions have no love for NCLB, President George W. Bush’s major education initiative. Indeed, the letter reads in part: “We believe NCLB has served to fracture a public education system stressed by years of disinvestment and neglect.”

But the letter goes on to criticize the waiver proposal, saying it would “establish and operate a privatized ‘shadow’ system of education in California, making students susceptible to market exploitation and profiteering.”

One of the unions’ key objections is the new teacher evaluation system, which is based partly on students’ test scores.

“This is a problem for both CORE and federal officials,” writes Michele McNeil over at Education Week, “because implementation of new teacher-evaluation systems tied to student achievement is so important to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. It’s a requirement to get a waiver, even as the department is allowing some wiggle room in its timeline for implementation.”

Previous posts: Analysis: Politics Could Affect LAUSD Waiver ApprovalCA Districts in DC for Final ‘No Child’ Waiver PitchUpdate: Federal Review “Going In the Right Direction” for LAUSD



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