FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, August 9, 2013
On August 6, eight California school districts received word from the U.S. Department of Education that they had been granted a waiver from the No Child Left Behind Act. California Federation of Teachers President Joshua Pechthalt issued the following statement:
"Educators want to be partners in improving public education. But this top-down decision, imposed on the women and men who work in our schools without their involvement in the decision-making, suggests that Secretary Duncan and the U.S. Department of Education are not interested in working with those responsible for putting federal education policies into practice in California classrooms. The U.S. Department of Education, along with local administrators, should work collaboratively with California educators to bring about systemic, long term, meaningful educational improvements.
“It’s unfortunate that the US DOE has twice refused to grant No Child Left Behind waivers to the entire state of California, the only state that has been denied. These previous applications would have addressed concerns shared by of all the state’s school districts. Instead, the Department of Education has chosen to bypass the Governor, the state Superintendent, and most districts, including their teachers, students, and parents, and engage in a piecemeal approach.
“We need positive changes in public education that engage all stakeholders, that fund schools properly, and that move away from one-size-fits-all mandates.”