Recently, The Seattle Times quoted U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s 2011 testimony, “We should get out of the business of labeling schools as failures and create a new law that is fair and flexible.” Yet Duncan continues to enforce a failing law, No Child Left Behind [”State leaders should save $40 million federal education waiver,” Opinion, April 26].
The Times also reported that the money would still be used to assist struggling students, but 20 percent of it must be used to pay private tutoring organizations, or to bus students to “nonfailing” schools, instead of being controlled by school districts. However, the students will still get help. The money is not lost to the state.
Rather than Duncan calling Washington’s bluff, we have a chance to call his, and put pressure on Congress to redo No Child Left Behind, which was due to be renewed in 2007.
A law that is not working must be changed before it begins to create chaos rather than healthy change. Schools in all states could soon be labeled failing, so our senators and representatives should be able to find allies, and “create a new law that is fair and flexible.”
That would indeed be taking a stand for children, our legislators’ smallest constituents.
Mary Wallon, Seattle