Monday, June 16, 2014

A waiver request . . .

I was informed today that OSPI will be requesting a waiver of the 14-day Public School Choice Notification letter scheduled to be mailed this August to all parents informing them that we did meet the Annual Yearly Progress (AYP) requirements of NCLB.  The same letter will be mailed to almost every parent in the state because the federal education department repealed our ESEA waiver when the legislature failed to require the use of state assessment data in teacher evaluations.

The reason for the request as identified in the letter to be mailed later this week is below.  I was notified because of the requirement to notify public school districts of the request and to provide for a comment period prior to submitting the official request.

Washington State seeks a waiver of this provision because:
a.           The majority of schools in Washington (with the exception of a handful of very small schools) will not meet the 100 percent Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) requirement this year. As a result, nearly every school in every district will be designated as in improvement and required to send a letter to the family of every student notifying them of the status of their school.
b.           The intent of the 14-day notification letter is to provide public school choice to families living within the boundaries of a (Step 1–5) school in order to allow them to move to a school that had met AYP. Public School Choice is now a moot point since there will be an extremely limited number of schools that would be available.

Thanks to Superintendent Dorn and staff for this waiver request.  Though it doesn't remove the onerous requirements of NCLB, if successful, it puts off for a year the need to mail a letter that does not accurately describe the current reality of our schools.  If the federal department does not grant this request, I can only assume that they want to once again punish us for not conforming to their one size fits all reform model.

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