No Child Left Behind waiver will allow Minnesota schools to move forward, says Franken
Washington, D.C. – Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) responded to news that the U.S. Department of Education approved Minnesota’s “No Child Left Behind” waiver application, freeing the state from some of the burdensome testing and sanctions requirements put in place by the 2002 law.
Sen. Franken continues to push for Congress to reform the law this year, but welcomed the news that Minnesota received this waiver to provide much-needed relief to schools until Congress passes a new ESEA.
“No Child Left Behind simply isn’t working, and it’s clear we need to completely reform the legislation,” said Sen. Franken. “We made good progress in the Senate this fall towards overhauling NCLB, and I remain committed to ensuring that process moves forward. But until reform legislation is approved by Congress, this waiver will eliminate some of the most arbitrary measures of the current law that have burdened schools throughout Minnesota. Far too many schools all over our state have been unfairly sanctioned under the current one-size-fits-all model, and I’m pleased that the Obama Administration recognized that giving Minnesota some flexibility is the best way to serve our students.”
Sen. Franken is a member of the Senate Education Committee, and has long advocated reforming No Child Left Behind (NCLB).
Since taking office, Franken has visited more than 65 schools throughout Minnesota, where he has solicited input from students, teachers, parents, and school administrators on how to best fix NCLB.
In the fall of 2011, he successfully incorporated four key provisions into the Senate bill to reform NCLB, each of which passed with bipartisan support. The amendments would give schools more flexibility in testing, improve schools through strengthening principal leadership, create a stable education environment for foster care kids, and clarify that teachers don’t need to be forcibly transferred from their schools to meet equal funding requirements.