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U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan addresses the National School Board Association's Federal Relations Network Conference in January 28, 2013. Nine California school districts are hoping he'll grant them waivers to the penalties in No Child Left Behind.
Time is running out for nine California school districts that are hoping to get a waiver from penalties in the No Child Left Behind Act before the school year starts.
So several of their superintendents flew to Washington to meet with Department of Education officials to speed things up.
The group is calling itself the California Office to Reform Education. It includes the Los Angeles Unified School District and the Long Beach, San Francisco and Oakland school district.
The No Child Left Behind Act requires schools to bring all students up to proficiency in Math and English by next year. If they don’t, they’ll face penalties, including closures and having to set aside significant amounts of money for tutoring.
Thirty-nine states and Washington, DC, have received waivers from the federal government. California has not. Its application was rejected in January, in part because it will not consider using student test scores in teacher evaluation. The state said it wouldn’t reapply.
The group of nine school districts is the first to break out on its own. It has been confident that it’ll get a waiver, but the timing is unclear.