Today, Friday, September 23, 2011 a No Child Left Behind (NCLB)reform event took place in the East Room of the White House. Rhode Island’s governor Lincoln Chaffee and Commissioner of Education, Deborah Gist were among the education leaders in attendance.
President Obama made clear his intent to begin weaning states off of the No Child Left Behind standards via waivers. In a White House press release he details what it would take for states to be granted relief provision from No Child Left Behind standards.
The release states that waivers would be extended to states who were serious about closing achievement gaps, promoting rigorous accountability, and ensuring that ALL students were on track for being college and career ready, including students with learning disabilities.
“President Obama said, “Our kids get one shot at a decent education, they cannot wait any longer. Given that Congress cannot act, I am acting. Starting today, we will be giving states more flexibility to meet higher standards.”
Education Secretary Arne Duncan said, “We want to get out of the way and give states and districts flexibility to develop locally-tailored solutions to their educational challenges while protecting children and holding schools accountable for better preparing young people for college and careers.
President Obama was clear that the college and career ready is for all students, including children with disabilities. How this will play out for children with disabilities remains to be seen. Many families with children with disabilities find themselves having to advocate and fight for the basic education and proper supports.