(h/t Diane Ravitch.)
Shorter coalition of education reform organizations masquerading as civil rights groups: If the Department of Education grants the CORE districts a waiver, California will be inadequately punished for failing to elect our candidate State Superintendent of Schools, will take vital funding away from our friends providing for-profit tutoring services at PI schools, and the glorious prospect of 100% schools failing their way into transformation into union-free charters. And that would be bad for the children.
Wow. I am not even a big fan of the CORE waiver. The waiver itself is pretty reform-filled too - heck, getting the waiver requires the CORE districts to try to get teacher tenure tied to test scores. I would've thought EdTrust would be eagerly cosigning it. But apparently, the CORE waiver represents an insidious attempt to hold educators responsible for the pervasive opportunity gaps in California.
The letter doesn't actually cite any examples of accountability being laughed right out of the waiver. It focuses solely on what a naughty state California has been, what with its disinterest in Race to the Top funding and slapdash waiver application. (And its Democrats! Naming DFER as a non-Democratic group! Can they not read? Probably not, because teachers unions.)
This is the true nature of NCLB, I think. It's a lot of talk about accountability of our teachers for our children. But its essence is punishment: punishment for teachers in the form of mass firings, punishment for students in curricular narrowing and test upon test, punishment in school districts in demanding they do more with less so that they can hire ineffective tutors.
And according to these nominal civil rights groups, California will not be adequately punished until all of its schools have failed to meet the 100% proficiency goal NCLB sets. That this may have real and ugly impacts for the children they claim to hold such concern for is not important; until the state gives in, it can watch its schools be destroyed.