North Carolina has received a waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind law. NCLB has many critics on the left and right. I am not one of them, for one key reason. NCLB exposes to sunlight which students school districts serve well and which ones they fail. No longer can districts hide their failures- usually with with poor and/or minority kids and/or kids with disabilities- behind their successes with other groups. And that’s what critics don’t like — the accountability requirements for all subgroups of kids. Fail one group and you fail, says NCLB. Period. I like the strict accountability.
The debate over what constitutes achievement and accountability will continue forever, but what is interesting about this Herald-Sun story – headline “NCLB Waiver a relief for DPS — is that Lewis Ferebee of DPS leaves the door open for forcing kids who transferred out of failing schools — as is their option under NCLB when a school fails repeatedly — to move back. While the reporter casts the comment as Ferebee making it seem unlikely, he absolutely leaves the door open for the system to do so.
Ferebee said the school system is still waiting on specifics from the state regarding how the waiver will affect transfers, but he suggested that students who have already transferred to alternative schools under the law will not be asked to return to their base schools.“We’ll do what’s in the best interest of our students,” he said. “The thinking is that at this time, what would be in their best interest would be to not abruptly move them, but we will wait and see.”
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