State to receive long-awaited NCLB relief

Statement of MTA President Paul Toner:

We applaud the U.S. Department of Education’s decision to grant Massachusetts a waiver from No Child Left Behind. NCLB’s requirement that all students score “proficient” or higher on the MCAS tests by 2014 is unrealistic and unproductive. More than half of our schools were deemed failing by that standard – including some very highly regarded schools – even though we have the highest performing students in the country.
 
The negative label and one-size-fits-all sanctions for these schools did not promote thoughtful consideration of the best strategies for improvement or for our students.
 
We plan to work closely with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to make sure that the accountability and support systems that replace the NCLB requirements under this waiver advance innovation and excellence, narrow the achievement gaps and promote a love of learning in our schools.

See also, NEA media release on waivers.

Dr. Kathleen Skinner, director of MTA's Center for Educational Policy & Practice, interviewed on Fox 25, Boston, 2/10/12