Schools need pressure from public, not gov’t

Apparently the absence of some useless federal regulations makes some hearts grow fonder of them. No one should lament the demise of “No Child Left Behind,” the decade-old federal school improvement law, however.

Although Congress has not removed it from the books, NCLB no longer governs schools in many states. A process of granting them waivers from most of the law’s provisions accomplished that.

Now, however, some advocates for minority students say waiver states are using their newfound freedom from NCLB to cut back on initiatives meant to help “at-risk” children. Individual schools and their districts no longer are under as much pressure to help such students, the advocates claim. Fewer schools are being identified as in need of drastic improvement, they add.

That will come as news in some states that have been granted waivers. In some, new quality evaluation systems are, if anything, identifying more schools that are not serving at-risk children adequately.

Ongoing pressure from the public will be vital in ensuring at-risk students – of all races – get the help they need. A new round of federal intervention is not the answer.

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