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California DFER to National DFER: Butt Out of Our CORE Waiver

Two days ago, eight civil rights and disability groups sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan urging him to reject the "CORE" waiver request for several California districts looking for their own version of flexibility under the No Child Left Behind Act.

That list of eight signers included Democrats for Education Reform, which feared that such a tailored waiver request would lead to different expectations for students across California and ultimately, lower standards for those most at risk of failure.

But the California branch of DFER supports the CORE waiver. So the local affiliate fired off a letter of its own yesterday to Duncan, to clarify that the DFER that signed the original letter did not speak for the California branch.

"[T]he DFER logo reflected the views of individuals in the federal office and did not include nor reflect the views of the state office affected by this waiver request—California—which has long supported the CORE waiver efforts," Gloria Romera, the California DFER director, wrote.

Romero told me she didn't know the national DFER was sending that letter as it didn't reach out to the state affiliate. She labeled it a "miscommunication," and said the national DFER thought the subject was a federal issue. (For its part, national DFER had no comment on this internal strife.)

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