Obama Accepts State's ESEA Waiver Request

Oklahoma’s Elementary and Secondary Education (ESEA) waiver request submitted by the Oklahoma State Department of Education was accepted today by President Barrack Obama.

“We encourage state officials to include teachers during the implementation of the waivers.  No one knows what will work in our classrooms better than the teacher,” said Linda Hampton today in Washington D.C. from the White House.

Oklahoma Education Association officials say they are encouraged that the waiver permits test scores to be based on growth-model testing. No Child Left Behind’s one-time, high-stakes testing was simply a snapshot in time. It was not an accurate measure of student performance and assumed all children learned the same way at the same pace, OEA leaders said. Growth-model testing should allow teachers to pre- and-post test students to get a more complete picture of student achievement.

“All assessments should inform and guide instruction. The focus should be on improving teaching and learning, not labeling and punishing,” said Hampton.

The Association has been very vocal about problematic sections of the waiver request including financial penalties for low-achieving school districts and corporate takeover of some schools.

“Teachers and students in low-performing schools need additional support and resources. Penalizing them or closing down the community school does not raise student achievement,” Hampton added.


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