Branstad and Reynolds release statements on denial of Iowa’s No Child Left Behind waiver
Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds today released the following statements upon learning Iowa was denied a No Child Left Behind waiver. Read the official letter from the United States Department of Education here.
“Responsibility for the denial of this request lies squarely at the feet of the Iowa Legislature, which did too little to improve our schools despite repeated warnings. The education reform plan Lt. Governor Reynolds and I proposed would have ensured a waiver from the onerous federal No Child Left Behind law. Lawmakers, instead, chose to delay updating the educator evaluation system by requiring a task force study the issue and make recommendations for consideration by the 2013 Legislature. The U.S. Department of Education, however, left the door open to approving Iowa’s request for flexibility if lawmakers come back to the table and pass meaningful reform that gives the Iowa Department of Education the authority it needs to update evaluations now.
“Iowa has slipped to the middle of the pack in education in part because we did not adopt the same rigorous policies as other states receiving the waiver. This reflects poorly on Iowa, and our students deserve better.”
Lt. Gov. Reynolds:
“The governor and I have traveled all 99 counties, and dozens of those visits centered on school transformation. Iowans understand that our children and grandchildren must be prepared with a globally competition education. Governor Branstad and I presented an education blueprint that would have done just that, while also passing the waiver test.
“Our door remains open, and if state lawmakers want to come together to give the Iowa Department of Education the authority it needs to move ahead with updating educator evaluation now – with a focus on continual improvement and accountability – we are ready. We cannot allow our children to be stuck in 20th century schools when it is critical that we do more to assure they are prepared for the 21st century.”