Saturday, December 22, 2012

No Child Left Behind

California's Department of Education is whining because the federal Education Department has refused to grant a waiver of the No Child Left Behind requirements for school improvement here.  And that's as it should be.

Whatever the problems with the No Child Left Behind requirements, California has failed to improve the performance of low-income children, particularly African-American and Latino youth.  One of the explanations raised for this is that the families of low-income students often rent their housing and are forced to move frequently.  This disrupts not only their education, but that of their classmates, both because their education is disrupted as they move from school to school, and because integrating students into new classes takes time.

Yeah, and there's a way to deal with that problem.  It's called secure housing for low-income families.  It's building affordable housing.  It's providing rent control and "just cause" eviction, so that families aren't precarious every month.  So long as our state and local governments fail to address these issues, they should be punished for their failure.  They aren't doing what needs to be done to insure that all children have equal access to education, which is a constitutional right in California.

The Department of Education should stop whining, and demand that the state provide the resources for all children to learn.

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