Ed Source and Education Week have provided exceptional coverage to the unprecedented attempt by nine school districts here in California to seek a waiver from No Child Left Behind rules. The state had a waiver request rejected because it wouldn’t agree to including test scores in teacher evaluations.
Our district here in Sacramento is one of those nine included in the waiver request. Here’s the ending of a letter recently signed by Presidents of the nine teacher union locals in those districts (following a detailed critique of the waiver request):
As reflected in the work of Fullan and Hargreaves, any effort to foster ‘whole system reform’ and promote the development of ‘professional capital’ in renewing, rebuilding and transforming the public education system in California must involve and, as you note, is the responsibility of the ‘entire school community’. This must include educators and their representatives, as well as other stakeholders, in meaningful decision-making roles throughout that process, including its design, development and ultimate execution – not as an afterthought. It is, indeed, unfortunate that this request for participation and dialogue has come at the end of your process rather than in the beginning stages.
We will continue to be involved in the work of whole system reform of public education. We will conduct that undertaking in each and every community across California as a new funding system that focuses on the needs of students who need help the most is implemented. We are committed to participating with our students, parents and the communities in which we live and work in that effort. We look forward to engaging the school boards and administrators of the 1000 school districts and County Offices of Education as we seek to establish a just, democratic and equitable society in California.