Tennessee is one of ten states getting a waiver from the federal education standards known as No Child Left Behind. Governor Bill Haslam says now the state will craft testing standards of its own, but that won’t mean lowering expectations.
Haslam explained No Child Left Behind this way: he said it’s like telling someone who needs more exercise that they have three weeks to train before having to run a mile in five minutes. In other words, Haslam says the expectations were so high as to be demoralizing.
Now Haslam expects the waiver will mean a boost in teacher morale, without stepping backward.
“Thousands of teachers who are doing a great job – and their classroom is making improvement – but they were still going to be labeled failures, or failing schools under No Child Left Behind – they’re not going to live with that stigma if they’re making the classroom and school improvement.”
Haslam spoke at a luncheon where another education story threatened to steal the spotlight. The governor said his proposal to give local school boards more control over class size had received “mixed reviews.”