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Governor Kitzhaber Statement on Federal No Child Left Behind Waiver Announcement


Location: Salem, OR

The White House outlined how states may receive waivers from provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act - or No Child Left Behind (NCLB) -- if they are pursuing rigorous efforts to close achievement gaps, increase school and district accountability and ensure that all students are on track to graduate college- and career-ready. The President made the formal announcement on Friday, in the Rose Garden with Oregon Superintendent of Public Instruction, Susan Castillo as an invited guest.

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber offered the following statement:

"Given the stalemate in Congress, I welcome President Obama's leadership in providing relief from the punitive provisions of No Child Left Behind.

Oregon schools can and must educate all children -- no matter their race, ethnicity, home language, disability or family income -- and they should be held accountable for delivering results.

But No Child Left Behind has twisted that accountability through its single-minded focus on high-stakes standardized testing, by labeling schools and students as failures, and by prescribing "solutions" for struggling schools that all too often only compound the damage.

We look forward to working with the U.S. Secretary of Education on a waiver that establishes school accountability based on meaningful information about student progress and delivers appropriate support for schools -- and students -- that are struggling.

Oregon and a national coalition of states are adopting strong college and career-ready standards. The Oregon Legislature has laid the foundation for a seamless public education system where innovation is encouraged and resources are invested in strategies that work. New laws will strengthen and streamline early learning services, will offer students and families greater choice and will support high standards, effective evaluation and professional development for teachers.

Today's welcome announcement by the President allows us to take the next step. I will work closely with the Oregon Superintendent of Public Instruction to prepare a waiver application that builds on the extraordinary efforts already underway in Oregon."

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