The Education Trust—West’s Statement on President Obama’s Plan for Waivers to NCLB


OAKLAND, CA (September 22, 2011) – The Education Trust—West issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Department of Education’s announcement that it will provide states with the opportunity to apply for waivers to No Child Left Behind (NCLB):

“President Obama’s announcement of an application process for waivers of No Child Left Behind provides California with an unprecedented opportunity to improve our education system to better serve all students. Our state’s leaders have been consistently critical of NCLB and asked for relief from its requirements without presenting a real vision for closing California’s persistent achievement gaps. They now have the flexibility to develop a new accountability system focused on cutting our state’s achievement gaps in half. They also have an opportunity to reform our broken teacher evaluation system and guarantee access to college and career ready curriculum for all students. In a state where students of color and low income students represent the majority of our student population, closing opportunity and achievement gaps and implementing critical reforms should be our leaders’ top priorities. California’s future and our students’ hopes and aspirations depend on the willingness of our state leaders to be courageous enough to turn this unprecedented opportunity into a reality.”


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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.

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Karla Fernandez

Communications Manager

Karla Fernandez (she/her/hers) joins Ed Trust–West as a Communications Manager with over 11 years of experience advancing social impact initiatives.

Karla started her career as a teacher at Chicago Public Schools and UIC College Prep. After teaching, Karla joined United Friends of the Children to support LA County’s youth in foster care as a college counselor. Through Leadership for Educational Equity, Karla also served as a Policy Advisor Fellow for the office of a Los Angeles Unified School Board Member. She solidified her interests in policy analysis and quantitative research during her time with the Price Center for Social Innovation, the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, and the USC Presidential Working Group on Sustainability. Before joining The Education Trust–West, Karla was the Associate Director for the Southeast Los Angeles (SELA) Collaborative, a network of nonprofits advocating for communities in SELA.

Karla holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from the University of Chicago, a Master of Public Policy from the USC Price School of Public Policy, and a Graduate Certificate in Policy Advocacy from the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Karla is based out of southern California and is passionate about using data analysis, communications, and digital strategies for policy advocacy and social justice efforts.