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Vermont Board of Education Members Call ESSA Draft Regulations an Example of ‘Overreach and Narrowness’

Vermont Board of Education Members Call ESSA Draft Regulations an Example of ‘Overreach and Narrowness’

The Vermont State Board of Education does not feel that the draft regulations proposed by the Department of Education in guiding the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act are representative of its rural areas and has issued a “strongly worded missive” in response, says StoweToday.com.

The draft regulations "continue the practice of breaking down standardized test scores and other performance outcomes by demographic groups. This isn’t a big deal for a large city but causes problems in Vermont, where there is little racial and linguistic diversity, the State Board of Education said in its letter,” according to the article.

This will result in schools throughout the state harming low-income students by narrowing "their offerings to meet accountability expectations, according to the letter.”

Rather than identifying under-performing schools, the board members collectively agree that identifying the bottom 5 percent of schools will be more of a shaming practice that "measure the inequalities in our society more than the quality of our schools.”

The letter has a simple message to the federal government: put up or shut up. The board members argue that the government increasingly poses regulations on schools but does not provide the funding needed to help those in need.

"We are disturbed that the federal government continues to underfund its commitment to our most vulnerable children, who are disproportionately served by public schools.”

“It is time to commit to attacking the underlying challenges of poverty, despair, addiction and inequity that undermine school performance, rather than blaming the schools that strive to overcome the very manifestations of our greater social troubles.”

Vermont’s education board members aren’t the first state officials to criticize the federal government’s draft regulations.

In Colorado, several of its board members became so frustrated with proposed ESSA regulations that they argued to review the state’s budget to see if it could operate without federal funding.

The members even argued that 12 percent of "of the regulations contained statements that conflicted with the law” itself.

 

Read the full story. 

Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

8/29/2016

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