Why NCLB is better than Common Core

Working with state education officials, Senator Margaret Dayton led the charge against No Child Left Behind when it was introduced over a decade ago. She knew it was bad policy and spelled trouble for Utah.

I asked Senator Margaret Dayton to look at what I posted yesterday, along with Terryl Warner’s email (state board member) and Senator Dayton said both my article and Terryl’s comments are accurate. This is a real challenge to address. However, Sen. Dayton gave me some additional information showing that under No Child Left Behind, Utah now has a tool to give us greater flexibility and not be bound by some of the controls it implements.

Sidebar: Initially the state legislature was in favor of repealing NCLB in Utah. Then the feds threatened to take away our education funding, AND other non-education related federal funding. It was extortion and the legislature folded.

According to the Utah State Office of Education reports, we get anywhere from 8 to 12% of our education funding from the feds. According to Sen. Dayton, that comparatively small piece of money lets the feds set 90% of school policy. To learn the origin of “strings attached” in this manner, buy a copy of the small book, The Leipzig Connection. You’ll get an eye-opening account of how organizations like Carnegie and Rockefeller foundations wanted to change education policy and would donate small amounts, IF the receiving organization would just use it in certain ways…

Back to topic… The tool Sen. Dayton gave Utah is HB 135 – Implementing Federal Education Programs. It passed unanimously in the legislature in 2005. Here are some portions of what the bill did for Utah. Reverting back to NCLB would give Utah a lot more flexibility than it had when NCLB was first introduced. I do not know the history of how this law impacted things from 2005 when it was passed, till 2008/9/10 when Race to the Top, and Common Core reforms were applied for and adopted.


182          53A-1-903. Federal programs — School official duties.

183          (1) School officials may:
184          (a) apply for, receive, and administer funds made available through programs of the
185      federal government;
186          (b) only expend federal funds for the purposes for which they are received and are
187      accounted for by the state, school district, or charter school; and
188          (c) reduce or eliminate a program created with or expanded by federal funds to the
189      extent allowed by law when federal funds for that program are subsequently reduced or
190      eliminated.
191          (2) School officials shall:
192          (a) prioritize resources, especially to resolve conflicts between federal provisions or
193      between federal and state programs, including:
194          (i) providing first priority to meeting state goals, objectives, program needs, and
195      accountability systems as they relate to federal programs; and
196          (ii) providing second priority to implementing federal goals, objectives, program needs,
197      and accountability systems that do not directly and simultaneously advance state goals,
198      objectives, program needs, and accountability systems;

199          (b) interpret the provisions of federal programs in the best interest of students in this
             200      state;
             201          (c) maximize local control and flexibility;
             202          (d) minimize additional state resources that are diverted to implement federal programs
             203      beyond the federal monies that are provided to fund the programs;
             204          (e) request changes to federal educational programs, especially programs that are
             205      underfunded or provide conflicts with other state or federal programs, including:
             206          (i) federal statutes;
             207          (ii) federal regulations; and
208          (iii) other federal policies and interpretations of program provisions; and
209          (f) seek waivers from all possible federal statutes, requirements, regulations, and
210      program provisions from federal education officials to:
211          (i) maximize state flexibility in implementing program provisions; and
212          (ii) receive reasonable time to comply with federal program provisions.
213          (3) The requirements of school officials under this part, including the responsibility to


214      lobby federal officials, are not intended to mandate school officials to incur costs or require the
215      hiring of lobbyists, but are intended to be performed in the course of school officials’ normal
216      duties.
217          Section 6. Sectio

218          53A-1-904. No Child Left Behind — State implementation.
219          (1) (a) In accordance with the No Child Left Behind Act, including Section 9527,
220      school officials shall determine if the No Child Left Behind Act:
221          (i) requires the state to spend state or local resources in order to comply with the No
222      Child Left Behind Act; or
223          (ii) causes the state, local education agencies, or schools to change curriculum in order
224      to comply.
225          (b) School officials shall request a waiver under Section 9401 of the No Child Left
226      Behind Act of any provision of the No Child Left Behind Act that violates Section 9527.
227          (2) In addition to the duties described under Subsection (1), school officials shall:
228          (a) request reasonable time to comply with the provisions of the No Child Left Behind
229      Act;
230          (b) lobby congress for needed changes to the No Child Left Behind Act; and
231          (c) lobby federal education officials for relief from the provisions of the No Child Left
232      Behind Act, including waivers from federal requirements, regulations, and administrative
233      burdens.
234          (3) School officials shall lobby Congress and federal education officials for needed
235      resolution and clarification for conflicts between the No Child Left Behind Act and the
236      Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
237          (4) In the case of conflicts between the No Child Left Behind Act and the Individuals
238      with Disabilities Education Act, the parents, in conjunction with school officials, shall
239      determine which program best meets the educational needs of the student.

2 thoughts on “Why NCLB is better than Common Core”

  1. If the state decided to rescind the Common Core wouldn’t that just frustrate teachers who spend so much time training and preparing for the Common Core. It must be maddening to be a teacher in such a chaotic political environment where standards, programs, and curricula lasts for a year or two, while policy makers just keep crying wolf or saying “just kidding” we didn’t really want the this core or that core. If I were a teacher, I wouldn’t take any new future set of standards or programs seriously anymore.

    1. Teachers passed that point years ago. We went to great lengths to get good math standards in 2007 and the state office fought it all the way looking for ways to toss up roadblocks. Common Core came along a couple years later with a hope of getting some federal funding and the USOE through everything out the window and said they were adopting standards that had never been tried and weren’t even written by standards experts. At least one district, if not more, never even implemented the 2007 math standards because as they were getting ready to they learned the USOE was pulling the rug out from under those standards and doing something else.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.