Vermont State Board of Education smarter than Utah State Board of Education   Leave a comment

Vermont’s “Bennington Banner” reports that Vermont is fed up with the U.S. Dept. of Education and has turned away from the Obama Administration’s bureaucratic NCLB waiver.

In an April 17 letter … the U.S. Education Department said Vermont’s waiver application lacked “Detail regarding Vermont’s proposed accountability system,” and did not “Ensure significant progress in improving student achievement.”

Since applying for the waiver, Vermont has held a series of time-consuming negotiations as it attempted to create its own system of measurement and accountability that relied less on standardized tests and punitive actions against teachers, administrators and schools.

Throughout those negotiations it became more and more apparent that the U.S Department of Education would not be willing to budge on many of Vermont’s requests, and so when the latest letter arrived in Montpelier asking for more details the State Board of Education decided to cut its losses and move on.

“As the Vermont Department of Education has continued to negotiate for the flexibility that was promised since we started in August, it has become clear that the U.S. Education Department is interested in simply replacing one punitive, prescriptive model of accountability with another,” Vermont Department of Education Spokeswoman Jill Remick said. “We cannot continue to expend energy requesting a detailed accountability system that looks less and less like what we want for Vermont.”

Vermont, we applaud your independence from federal control.  We wish the Utah State Board of Education had the same brains and brawn.

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