Wednesday, October 24, 2012
NCLB Waivers Allow Hostile Corporate Takeovers of Schools
Thanks to Stan Karp for this compilation:
Paterson would gain control of its public school system for the first time in 21 years under legislation introduced by Democrats that also would limit future state takeovers to five years, lawmakers announced Friday. "It's time for the state to admit that the prolonged takeover of a local school district is a failed experiment, and it's time to return the school districts that have languished under state control back to the people in those school districts," said state Sen. Ronald Rice, D-Essex, who has sponsored the bill with Nellie Pou, D-North Haledon.
Darcie Cimarusti, NewsWorks
Regional Achievement Centers (RACs) have been set up all over the state, with some of the funding coming from private donors such as the Broad Foundation, to oversee and "turn around" the Priority and Focus Schools, and potentially take over the management of the schools that don't improve within the two year time limit.
Education Week (subscription required)
As school closures are increasingly used as a remedy to budget woes and a solution to failing schools in many cities, debates are intensifying about their effect on student performance and well-being, on district finances, and on communities and the processes districts use to choose which schools will be shuttered. Student and parent groups in Chicago, the District of Columbia, New York, Newark, N.J., and Philadelphia gathered in Washington late last month to call for a moratorium on school closings and filed separate complaints with the U.S. Department of Education's office for civil rights. The advent of the federally funded School Improvement Grant, or SIG, program in 2009, brought school closings into the spotlight as one of four turnaround strategies districts could use to revive struggling schools. Only 18 of the more than 3,700 closures from 2009 to 2011 were financed through SIG, according to the federal Education Department, but the program's emphasis on dramatically restructuring traditional public schools is apparent in many districts that are pushing ahead with large-scale closures.
Center on Education Policy
The Next Step: Monitoring the Implementation and Impact of Waivers
If the NCLB waivers stay in place, the next few years will be characterized by policy churn. A majority of states will be experimenting with diverse approaches to accountability using waivers, while other states will be maintaining their current systems as the 2014 timeline draws near. During this period, it will be critical for ED, states, and independent groups to monitor how well the accountability systems in waiver states are working, what unexpected issues arise, how well these systems are understood by the people they affect, and what impact they have on student achievement and school performance, among other issues.
What Impact Will NCLB Waivers Have on the Consistency, Complexity, and Transparency of State Accountability Systems? (PDF format, 268 KB) *