Two Valley school districts – Fresno Unified and Sanger Unified – were granted a one-year waiver from requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Act today by the U.S. Department of Education. The move will allow school officials to introduce their own plans for a new statewide curriculum and avoid costly penalties under the law.
The districts were among eight in California to receive the waiver, and are all members of a coalition called the California Office to Reform Education, or CORE.
Under No Child Left Behind all students must become proficient in Math and English by 2014 or districts face discipline, including offering costly tutoring - or even closure.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson praised the move, saying all districts deserve relief from the mandates of the federal education law.
39 states have sought waivers from the law, including California. But the state’s application was denied earlier this year after it decided against using student test scores in teacher evaluations.
Out of the 10 districts that are members of CORE, eight were granted the wavier: Fresno, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento, San Francisco, Sanger and Santa Ana School Districts. Clovis and Garden Grove School Districts did not receive the waiver.