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The American Association of School Administrators (AASA) and the National School Boards Association (NSBA) have released the text of a new letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan again calling for targeted regulatory relief for the nation’s schools.
The letter is in response to communications from the U.S. Department of Education proposing relief to school districts via conditional waivers that require participating districts to adopt measures that support the administration’s education policy priorities.
“AASA and NSBA agree,” the letter states, with “the three areas proposed for regulatory relief within your plan—relief from the 2014 timeline, the 100% proficiency requirement, and highly qualified teacher regulations—but do not support the conditional nature of the waivers.”
“When the Secretary himself notes that 80 percent of the nation's school will be labeled as failing in the 2011-12 school year, it highlights how broken the current accountability system is,” said AASA Executive Director, Daniel A. Domenech in releasing the letter. “School districts should not be held responsible for the broken components of a law four years past-due.
“AASA and NSBA oppose the conditional nature of these waivers,” said NSBA Executive Director Anne L. Bryant. ”We believe that the regulatory relief needed should be locally directed, be accomplished through general regulatory waivers not an application’s process and not be tied to an exchange for new specific top-down requirements. Because of the economy, states and local communities are cash-strapped, and forcing school districts and state education agencies to adopt new policy priorities - especially unfunded - is problematic.”
The letter urges the Department “to act quickly in a manner that matches its own promise around providing relief to the nation’s schools.”