The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Dept. Of Education “Waivers”:
An Attack on Teachers

Aug 19, 2013

The U.S. Department of Education has given eight California school districts, including some large districts such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento, Fresno and Long Beach, “waivers” from the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law. The waivers free these districts from the unrealistic requirement that all students of a school score “proficient” on standardized English and Math tests by 2014. Schools “failing” on this basis can be shut down, and, their entire staff can be fired.

For these eight districts, the waiver will free up a total of about 150 million dollars in federal money–which, under NCLB rules, would have to go to outside companies for tutoring.

Why do these eight school districts get this break? Because, unlike other California school districts, these eight districts have agreed to include students’ standardized test scores in their teachers’ evaluations–the Obama administration’s key demand.

In other words, the Obama administration is willing to free school boards from the unreasonable punishments meted out by NCLB, but ONLY IF the school boards agree to punish their teachers based on … the same test results that NCLB uses!

Under the guise of a “new” policy, under the pretext of a “relief” from the Bush-era NCLB, it’s the same old attack on teachers–public school teachers–now carried on by the Obama administration. But an attack on teachers is an attack on the children they teach.