Sen. Margaret Dayton: The Conundrum of the Common Core Waiver

By Senator Margaret Dayton I had the opportunity to address the State School Board today (on Friday, August 8, 2014) about the legislative intent of a bill that I passed nearly a decade ago. HB 135 was passed in 2005, but the drafting and crafting process took a full two years. During the 2004 interim, every single education committee meeting discussed the onerous ramifications of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and what could be done. HB 135 was the result of some of those discussions. When the bill was considered in the 2005…

What does the NCLB waiver vote mean?

The Utah State Board of Education (USBE) votes whether to renew the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) waiver on Friday August 8. While the ostensible result of the vote will be to renew or not renew the waiver, there will be efforts by all interested parties to label what the vote means. Common Core: if the USBE decides not to renew the waiver, Common Core standards foes will see it as a victory and a step towards extracting Common Core standards from our education system. Utah would still need to replace…

Chicken Little and the ongoing NCLB Waiver Debate

Tomorrow, on Friday August 8, the Utah State Board of Education (USBE) will vote on whether to extend the waiver to the requirements of No Child Left Behind. As I’ve noted previously, the cost of not passing the waiver would be an insubstantial portion of the state education budget, just $26.5 million in education funding from the federal government, or less than 1%. And yet, you’d think that the very future of education funding in Utah–all of it–was on the line.

Support for Utah’s ESEA Waiver

On August 8, 2014, the Utah State Board of Education will decide whether to seek an ESEA waiver or not. This decision has drawn extraordinary attention from the entire state. As a district superintendent, I have had the opportunity to hear detailed arguments in support of the waiver as well as arguments that oppose the waiver. For me, this decision comes down to a matter of applying Title I resources to serve our most at risk students. I completely understand the positives of not signing the waiver. The pros and…

Utah Should Reapply for the NCLB Waiver

In the August 8 meeting, the Utah State Board of Education will make an important decision. I earnestly believe Utah should reapply for the waiver from the onerous requirements of No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Frankly, the State Board is relatively divided on the issue. As I view the matter, however, the best course for Utah students is to seek waiver renewal. A perspective on NCLB and the waiver NCLB was instituted by the Bush Administration in 2002. (Interestingly, it was sponsored in the U. S. House of Representatives by…

What is the Cost of Not Extending the NCLB Waiver?

On July 17, the Utah State Board of Education met to discuss whether to extend the  No Child Left Behind (NCLB) waiver, or the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Waiver. It allows Utah to avoid certain aspects of NCLB while still receiving federal dollars for education. I recommend reading Karen Peterson’s treatment of the topic (here) for a more full overview, though I am not yet decided that I agree with her conclusions. The Board will vote on August 8 whether to extend the waiver. If the waiver is ditched–that is, if…

Gov. Herbert: An Education Action Figure?

Today, Gov. Herbert held a press conference to address the concerns he has heard regarding public education and to present a plan of action.  The plan outlined three principles: Maintaining high academic standards in all subjects. Monitoring and limiting the federal government’s role in education. Preserving state and local control, including in curriculum, testing, and instructional practices. His plan includes: First, a legal review by the Attorney General’s Office into questions regarding federal entanglements associated with the adoption of the Common Core and our No Child Left Behind waiver. Second,…

State School Board Considering Returning to No Child Left Behind

Utah State Superintendent Finalists Announced: Backup Plan for Some? John Barge, Martin Bates, Rich Crandall, Brad Smith

Tonight, the Utah State Board of Education will debate whether to apply for another one-year Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Waiver.  The ESEA Waiver allows Utah to not comply with certain federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) mandates through the creation of its own state systems.  Utah’s current waiver is set to expire in August. By choosing not to apply for the ESEA waiver, Utah would return to No Child Left Behind.