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[Susan notes: Few people seem to understand this issue. The teacher evaluation provision--and charter requirement--are why Vermont didn't apply for an NCLB waiver.



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Published in Fresno Bee
03/06/2013

To the editor



While some folks may think that getting a "waiver" from the stringent requirements of No Child Left Behind would be a reprieve from the high stakes testing insanity of the last 10 years, nothing could be further from the truth.



The reality is that those districts who choose this path must tie teacher evaluations to student performance on future state tests. The fact is that future testing pressure will increase due to the new Common Core Standards. The idea is that if standards change or become more "rigorous," that suddenly students will be more prepared for the future. Many test happy folks who pushed NCLB are now vilifying that and pushing Common Core, opening up a new testing money market.



California currently has the highest-level standards in the United States, yet if we treated it as its own country, there would be huge discrepancies in test results based on socioeconomic differences and parent involvement, the largest impacts on student success.



Just because there are "new" standards and tests will not guarantee anything except for two things: an increase in the amount of money in the test-makers' pocketbooks and a reduction in the quality of the classroom environment.



Joseph Lucedo


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