Press Release

OAKLAND, CA (March 7, 2012) – The Education Trust—West issued the following statement as the California State Board of Education considers an application for a waiver of No Child Left Behind:

“The Obama administration has offered California an unprecedented opportunity to apply for a waiver of No Child Left Behind. To date, thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia have seized this opportunity and submitted waiver applications. This includes states with Democratic and Republican leadership. It includes states that have, like California, suffered from sizable budget deficits. In contrast, California’s leadership has failed to submit an application and focused instead on criticizing the Obama administration for the reasonable requirements of the waiver application process. These requirements include the implementation of Common Core State Standards adopted by the California State Board of Education; the development of a robust district and school accountability system focused on closing achievement gaps; and long overdue reforms to California’s abysmal teacher and principal evaluation requirements. Rather than seizing this opportunity, Governor Brown and Superintendent Torlakson have decided to submit a ‘California-specific waiver’ that would ignore the administration’s application requirements. Given the high stakes, this approach is appalling. Like thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia, California should support the Obama administration’s plan and submit a waiver proposal that adheres to the requirements of the application process. Doing otherwise would be an incredible lost opportunity and an abdication of our leadership’s responsibility to improve California’s education system. We encourage the state board to reject the California-specific waiver proposal and vote to submit a high quality waiver application that adheres to the Obama administration’s requirements for approval.”     

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About The Education Trust—West

The Education Trust—West works for the high academic achievement of all students at all levels, pre-k through college. We expose opportunity and achievement gaps that separate students of color and low-income students from other youth, and we identify and advocate for the strategies that will forever close those gaps.