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Rules Are Too Much, Too Late, State Officials Say

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Reauthorize, don't re-regulate.

That's the message state education officials sent the Department of Education in reaction to the rules Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings unveiled as her alternative to NCLB reauthorization two months ago.

In their formal reaction to the rules proposal, the Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Association of State Boards of Education said that it's the wrong time to issue new rules that will give their members a long list of things to do.

"This investment in time and money may be worthwhile were these regulations to be in place for more than a year or two, but since they won’t be, we do not believe they warrant the fiscal or managerial expenses they entail," Brenda Lilienthal Welburn, NASBE's executive director, wrote about the rules in her letter last week to department officials.

"Subjecting states to fundamental changes in federal requirements and policies on the eve of [Elementary and Secondary Education Act] reauthorization and executive branch transition, which likely will result in further policy changes, could be disruptive, result in piecemeal approaches, impose financial and administrative burdens on our educational systems, and breed public misunderstanding of state accountability systems," Gene Wilhoit, CCSSO's executive director, wrote in his cover letter on the rules.

For CCSSO's complete comments, see here.

1 Comment

Thank you for the links. All three statements were eminently sensible.

You may be approaching the heart of the problem with NCLB-type accountability. The remaining true-believers in that law often are committed to the notion of "creative destruction." They don't realize that schools need a reduction in all types of chaos. We just can't afford the luxury of experiments being dumped on us willy, nilly, in the hope that some constructive dialectic will flow from the confusion.

Too many reformers forget that school systems have also been enduring another type of "accountability" dictated by local and state politics. Society demands that we cut central office staffs to the bone. Then NCLB dumps another load of paperwork.

I really appreciate your links because teachers need to "walk a mile in the moccasins" of school boards and administrators to understand why they keep dumping dysfunctional policies on us. We need to learn how to "hang together."

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