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Fairfax County School Officials Back Down in Testing Impasse

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Three months after the Fairfax County, Va., school board passed a resolution permitting administrators to defy a federal requirement to give the regular reading test to some beginning English-language learners, school officials have announced a turnaround on that position, according to an article today in the Washington Post. [Update follows.] Spokesmen from the Arlington and Loudoun County school systems in Virginia told me today that their school districts, which had also resisted the federal mandate, have also decided to comply with it.

Fairfax County Superintendent Jack D. Dale told principals that they should follow federal requirements and use the test for English-language learners who have been in U.S. schools for one year but also allow students to stop taking the test if they can't continue and say they are finished, according to the Post article.

Earlier posts about this topic: "Bill About Testing ELLs Is Introduced in the U.S. Congress," "Virginia Backs Down on Testing Showdown," and "Testing Showdown."

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I have followed this story since it developed in January. I have talked to people at the Virgnia Department of Education and most completely support the counties' decision to fight the ED but, it is hard to do the right for about 2000 kids and sacrifice funds in a district with over 100,000 students.
Even though David did not beat Goliath this time, there is still something to be said for anyone, superintendent, school system, or school board, willing to do what is right and makes sense for children in the political climate we live in. Check my posts on the controversy at:
http://circle-time.blogspot.com/2007/03/my-new-heroes.html
http://circle-time.blogspot.com/2007/04/federal-beauracracy-one-common-sense.html

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