"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Thursday, February 01, 2007

More Threats From ED to Enforce Child Abuse

Seems that Fairfax County's efforts to treat Enlish language learners humanely does not stack up to Bush's war against children of the public schools. From WaPo:
The U.S. Department of Education threatened yesterday to take "enforcement action" against Virginia if any school districts defy a federal mandate to give reading tests to thousands of immigrant students.

In a sharply worded letter, Deputy Secretary of Education Raymond Simon said he is "greatly distressed" that some school districts, including Fairfax County, might violate the No Child Left Behind Act. Simon urged Virginia to enforce the law. If it does not, he said, federal education officials could step in, possibly withholding funds.

The dispute began last year when federal education officials rejected the reading exams that Virginia has given to many students learning English, because the tests don't cover the same grade-level material as those given to students fluent in English. Virginia educators fighting the mandate say that students who haven't mastered the language are likely to fail a traditional test and that it is unfair to administer it.

Last week, the Fairfax School Board voted to refuse to give the reading test, which is administered in the spring, to many immigrant children. The Harrisonburg School Board passed a similar measure, and Arlington County school officials are considering such a step.

Yesterday, federal education officials denied Virginia's request to use the old test for another year. They have said that Virginia educators had been aware of federal requirements for years and had ample time to
design a new test. State officials disputed that, saying that they learned last spring that the assessment Virginia had used might be rejected. . . .

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