If state Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn has his way, Washington schools won’t be sending out letters to parents in the fall saying their children’s schools are falling short of federal test-score requirements.
Dorn has requested that schools be spared from that part of the No Child Left Behind Act for one year, calling it punitive.
The state lost its waiver from the law in April because state legislators refused to require that student performance on state tests be a factor in evaluating teachers and principals.
The loss of the waiver meant Washington schools would be held accountable for all of the requirements of the law, which included informing parents if, by this year, all students in grades 3-8 and 10 aren’t passing state reading and math tests.
Very few schools in Washington — or nationally — have met that goal.
In a news release, Dorn said he sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Education earlier this month saying he doesn’t think such letters would serve any useful purpose.
One of the original intents of the letters was to let parents know they had the right to move their child to a school that met the test-score requirement. With nearly all Washington schools now falling short, Dorn said, “the issue of choice is moot” and the only impact of the letters would be punitive, which would hurt public support of education.
In the release, Dorn said he has been a longtime opponent of the No Child Left Behind law.