Says state legislators, not schools, failing

COURTESY TO THE BELLINGHAM HERALDMay 8, 2014 

Washington state legislators wisely did not require that standardized test scores be attached to teacher evaluations. Therefore, Washington has become the first state in the country to lose its federal waiver from the many requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act.

Because no state has been able to achieve 100 percent proficiency, nearly all of the states have already received a federal waiver from No Child Left Behing - on the condition that they implement policies that reduce teaching and learning to a test score.

One of the many impossible propositions of No Child Left Behind was that 100 percent of students at all schools in the United States would be fully proficient in reading and math, as registered by student test scores, by 2014. All these goals were to be achieved while the states have cut funding and staff resources that were needed to educate our children.

Does any institution or profession working with people achieve a 100 percent success rate? Do hospitals and doctors cure everyone? Does the criminal justice system and lawyers rehabilitate everyone? Do auto companies and workers produce vehicles 100 percent free of defects?

Our Washington schools are not failures! The real failure is on the part of federal and state politicians who refuse to direct more resource to the neediest schools. Politicians who continue to cut the school budgets for art, music, science and math while allowing more corporate tax loop holes.

Thomas Gilmore

Bellingham

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