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Vermont Declares Federal School Performance Goals 'Unrealistic'

Over the last week. Vermont's state educator announced 97 percent of the state's schools missed federal performance goals, and said the increasing standards were a "mission impossible."

"It's not realistic to expect every single tested child in every school to score proficient," said Education Secretary Rebecca Holcombe in a letter to parents, according to the Burlington Free Press. "Some of our students are very capable, but may have unique learning needs that make it difficult for them to accurately demonstrate their strengths on a standardized test." Holcombe also sent a letter aiming at the federal No Child Left Behind Act's annual performance targets. 

Vermont's adequate yearly progress (AYP) indicator showed that 290 schools failed to meet No Child Left Behind targets. Eight schools made AYP, but only on a technicality. Holcombe's efforts to reach U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan were usuccessful, but his press secretary offered this comment:

"Secretary Holcombe is right -- applying a pass/fail label to schools in a country as diverse as ours is outdated and meaningless. That's why the Obama administration has freed states from No Child Left Behind's one-size-fits-all mandates by offering greater flexibility. Nearly every state has taken us up on that offer, and our doors remain open to Vermont. States are developing innovative ways to pursue our shared goals of preparing all students for college and careers, supporting educators in improving their craft and focusing resources on the schools that truly need significant improvement."

Read the full story. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, EducationWorld Contributor

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