A majority of states is planning to take up the Obama Administration's offer to waive portions of No Child Left Behind, that according to the federal Department of Education.
Whether Washington will be one of them has yet to be decided.
Last month the President expressed frustration over the fact that Congress has not yet acted to change the law. Calling NCLB "flawed." Obama offered states the opportunity to circumvent a key requirement of the law requiring that all children be proficient in reading and math by the year 2014.
In order to qualify for the waiver, states have to submit a plan showing how they will prepare students for college and how they plan to hold teachers and students accountable.
According to an Associated Press report, 37 states have told the Department of Education they intend to submit a plan to obtain a waiver.
But, it seems, the DOE may be jumping to conclusions. According to a spokesman for Washington's Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, Washington sent a letter to the DOE saying that if the state were to apply, it wouldn't be until February. Spokesman Nathan Olson says, "We're still in the process of deciding. The Department of Ed. is interpreting our letter as saying that we will apply. The letter of intent isn't binding."
Seventeen other states have said they will submit a plan by November.
The bill is already drawing fire from principals and teachers. In a letter sent to Harkin and Senator Michael Enzi (R-Wyoming) yesterday, the National Association of Elementary School Principals, the National Education Association and three other groups, said they are "concerned about the capacity of states and local school districts to develop meaningful evaluation systems that do not become mechanisms for forced teacher and principal distribution."
The same issue was raised last month in Tacoma when the school district wanted to include language in the teachers' contract that would have allowed for a re-assignment of teachers.
The letter goes on to say that, ten years into NCLB, the groups had hoped "that ten years of experience and research would result in legislation that moved further away from reliance on standardized tests."
Wednesday's hearing is scheduled to start at 7:00 a.m. Seattle time.