Contacts: Claudia Briggs at 916-296-4087 or Mike Myslinski at 650-552-5324
BURLINGAME – California’s educators are disappointed about today’s announcement by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to grant unprecedented waivers from the flawed, federal No Child Left Behind law to only eight “CORE” school districts in California. The following statement can be attributed to CTA President Dean E. Vogel:
“As educators, we are committed to improving the conditions of teaching and learning, advancing the cause of a quality public education system and ensuring that the dignity and civil rights of all children are protected. At a time when we are working hard in California to implement positive changes that ensure all students get a fair shot at a quality education, this top-down move that excluded teacher input is absurd, counterproductive and divisive.
“By approving this waiver, Secretary Duncan once again demonstrates how his rhetoric that educators be actively involved in education change is just that—rhetoric. Not one of the local teachers’ associations in the eight school districts was included in the discussion or signed the waiver application.
“The CORE waiver distracts from the good work already in progress by local educators across the state through the Local Control Funding Formula, which provides greater transparency and allows those closest to students—our teachers—as well as parents, principals, and other community members to craft the best educational solutions for the students they serve.
“Additionally, the CORE waiver sets up a new bureaucratic system to oversee the eight districts and creates a new accountability system for schools and students in these districts.
"This will create confusion for educators, students and parents. While CORE officials cite the work and research conducted by Michael Fullan, they seem to miss his main point: that any effort to foster whole-system reform and transform public education must include educators, parents and other stakeholders in meaningful decision-making roles.
“We will continue to advocate for teacher-driven change that best serves the students of California, their parents and our local communities.”
The 325,000-member CTA is affiliated with the 3.2 million-member National Education Association.