This year, most school districts across Washington state were forced by Secretary Arne Duncan’s selective enforcement of the No Child Left Behind Act to send letters to all parents that labeled our schools as failures.  We are parents, teachers, students and community members who reject this label that has been placed on our schools.

UW_Education-021We know that our schools are not failures.  In fact, their accomplishments have been remarkable, especially given the deeply flawed policy imposed on them by the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).  While there are certainly changes needed for our schools – many due to the legacy of racism, class inequality, and lack of equitable funding for our schools – we believe that those changes should be directed by communities that make up local school districts, not by top-down mandates. This website will share stories and testimonials about the great things that are happening in our schools that should be supported and connect our communities so that we can organize opposition to Arne Duncan’s policies and No Child Left Behind.

According to NCLB, our schools should have had 100% of students test at proficient levels in reading and math by 2014.  No county, no state, and no school district has ever achieved 100% proficiency on standardized tests and, in fact, the way the tests are designed make it statistically impossible to achieve that goal.  Washington, like many other states, originally had a waiver in place that would have exempted it from this absurd NCLB mandate.  However, when the state legislature refused to pass bills tying teacher evaluations to test scores (following overwhelming evidence that this would not improve teaching or learning), Arne Duncan chose to punish Washington state by revoking the waiver. With the waiver gone, nearly all of Washington’s schools have been labeled failures, we may lose control of millions of dollars in federal money, and some schools will be at risk of state takeovers and mass layoffs of teachers.

nonclbThis kind of political game-playing has no place in our schools. Our schools and teachers should not be labeled as failures simply because we have rejected extremely flawed education policies.  In August 2014, 28 school superintendents from around the state authored a letter, where they declared that their schools’ successes are not reflected in these ratings and criticized No Child Left Behind.  We agree.  It’s time for the voices of parents, teachers and students to be heard and respected.

If you have a story to share about why your school is not a failure, tell us here.

Also, sign our petition to reinstate the NCLB waiver for Washington state.

 

Endorsed by:

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Contact us if you would like to add your organization as an endorser.

One thought on “

  1. I’m a basic skills teacher, ESL at a community college, and from my research common core and the ed mandates are part of a larger scheme to get public ed $ into the hands of billionaires. It’s a fear-based corporate system of control being imposed- the arrogance of these people knows no limits. They actually imposed a new GED which does not align with the actual abilities of high school grads and is a for-profit test. We must have public and just education systems for our people. Keep up the great work.

    http://restoregedfairness.org/latest-news/38-common-core-is-just-the-latest-of-the-billionaire-scams

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