Waiver discontinued for WA. State 'No Child Left Behind' law

PULLMAN, WA - Washington schools now have less control of their federal funding.

The U.S. Department of Education officially discontinued the state's waiver of sanctions resulting from the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, also called the 'No Child Left Behind' law.

Last week, the Department of Education officially discontinued the state's waiver because it doesn't conform to federal demands that state standardized testing scores be a required part of every teacher's performance evaluations.

Pullman School District Superintendent Paul Sturm said 20% of the district's funds from the 'No Child Left Behind' law will need to be set aside in case parents of students who qualify for it want supplemental services from a private provider. He said that's about $66,000 that won't be available to help Pullman students who may be struggling academically.

"We'll be required to send letters out to parents telling them we don't meet adequate yearly progress and I think that's going to be a confusing and mixed message," said Sturm. "It's by some unrealistic definition."

Federal law requires that 100% of students score proficient on the state exams in order to meet adequate yearly progress. Sturm said that's virtually impossible and most, if not all schools in Washington State will be labeled "failing." Sturm said the current standardized tests aren't an appropriate measure of teacher effectiveness, nor student performance. He said the funding restrictions could affect funding for certain programs in the school district.