SC state leaders want 'flexibility' from No Child Left Behind

By: Sheli Muniz Email
By: Sheli Muniz Email
Concerned citizens

The goal is to get input from you as state leaders look to apply for a waiver from the highly controversial No Child Left Behind Act. (WRDW-TV / Jan. 10, 2012)

News 12 at 11 o'clock / Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012

AIKEN, S.C. -- Just last year, President Barack Obama announced states could apply for a waiver that would give school districts flexibility with No Child Left Behind.

Georgia has already applied for the waiver and now South Carolina wants to do the same.

First, though, school state leaders want to hear from you.

Tom McHenry came to Tuesday evening's meeting at Millbrook Elementary School in Aiken as just a concerned citizen.

"We just want to find out about the waiver and find out how this is going to impact the students of Aiken County," McHenry said.

It is one of 21 meetings taking place in the state this month.
The goal is to get input from you as state leaders look to apply for a waiver from the highly controversial No Child Left Behind Act.

Nancy Busbee works as deputy superintendent for the S.C. Department of Education's Accountability Division.

"One of the goals that we had in place when we were deciding an alternative to AYP was to have a system that is very easy to understand," Busbee said.

She's talking about the AYP or Adequate Yearly Progress. It's a school and district grading system based on standardized tests.

The system has standards that some argue are too hard to meet.

"It's an admirable goal but it's not realistic," Busbee said.

They have proposed a state-based system instead as one of the many proposed alternatives.

They presented four principles on Tuesday, which will be sent to federal officials.

It's something McHenry hopes will bring change to what he says is a struggling education system.

"I hope that this is going to mean students are going to be better educated and get more of an opportunity to learn in the future," McHenry said.

News 12 spoke to some "concerned citizens" after the meeting. They said they feared the wrong audience was at this meeting. Many of them there were educators and the turnout of parents was too small.

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