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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The miracle that wasn't

I am just so disappointed.  Here all along I was believing our leaders who assured me that in 2014 all children would be doing reading and math on grade level.  Of course, it was never clear at what point in 2014 that would be- New Year's Eve, start of the school year, end of the school year, but no matter, we would be there.
Now I am told that the various states may have waivers; and thereby, not have to meet this deadline.  I am crushed.  Let me be clear, all along I thought this was an impossible dream, even a foolish one.  But our leaders told me I had little faith and with good teaching this would happen.
It seems that good politics has triumphed over good sense.  Governors were running for re-election.  All  governors want to point to great schools as a point of success.  But with 2014 approaching and the adequate yearly progress scores coming out every year showing more and more failing schools, well schools were not going to be a very good talking point.
Enter the waiver.
Schools can develop plans to overcome the discrepancies between lower socio-economic kids, students at risk, children for whom English is a second language and even those few children who need special ed services.  Of course the outcomes for those plans are not specified so we are sort of back to where we were.  We may just have to acknowledge that some kids don't have the ability to be on grade level, at least not at this time in their lives.
But that acknowledgement is very bad politics, even though it is good common sense.