Norwin Schools Chief Lauds Revised No Child Left Behind

By Pedersen, Brad | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, October 28, 2011 | Go to article overview
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Norwin Schools Chief Lauds Revised No Child Left Behind

Pedersen, Brad, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Norwin School District officials say they welcome President Obama's changes to the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

Changes to the legislation, made through a presidential directive, allows states to apply for a waiver to postpone the requirement for 100 percent of students to be proficient in reading and math by 2014. States applying for a waiver must develop college and career-oriented assessments.

"The new proposal is a realistic approach," Superintendent William Kerr said. "The proposal does not diminish accountability, but heightens the need for a strong educational system to be the strength of our American economy in a highly competitive and global marketplace."

Kerr said he expects the NCLB changes to have a positive effect on schools across the commonwealth if the state applies for a waiver.

The waivers also keep schools from missing Adequate Yearly Progress, or AYP, if a small group of students doesn't meet the mandated testing requirements.

All of Norwin District's schools, except Norwin High School, achieved AYP for the 2010-11 academic year.

Two subgroups -- students in special education and students qualifying for the free or reduced-lunch program -- kept the high school from achieving AYP, said Tracy McNelly, assistant superintendent of secondary education.

Pennsylvania, however, hasn't applied for the No Child Left Behind flexibility waiver, said Timothy Eller, press secretary for the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

State Secretary of Education Ron Tomalis and other state education officials don't have enough information on the waiver program to make a final decision, Eller said.

How it works

According to the federal Department of Education's website, states applying for flexibility must submit their plans to federal officials. Current and former educators from outside of the federal agency would review each states' requests before granting a waiver.

Any states that don't receive a waiver, or are not applying for flexibility, would continue under the current No Child Left Behind standards, according to a news release on the U.

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