Schools need relief from onerous regulation

While we see no resolution to the ESEA stalemate, we urge Secretary Duncan to use his regulatory powers to suspend any additional sanctions under the current AYP requirements prior to the beginning of the 2011-12 school year. No new school should be labeled as “In Need of Improvement” or subject to new or additional sanctions. We propose this because our schools are overwhelmed by laws and regulatory mandates that have been heaped upon them by NCLB and now, most recently, by the data requirements imposed by states’ acceptance of federal stimulus funds. In spite of the harsh economic reality facing our schools today, they are being forced to do much more with much less.

By September 30 of this year, school districts will have had to submit to their state educational agencies an unprecedented amount of data never before required of them, such as student transcript information—including courses completed, grades earned, and the teachers who taught those courses and assigned the grades. Aside from the huge issues of costs, data reliability, and privacy rights, many schools do not have the technology in place to collect the data—and many will be forced to be out of compliance and face the threat of having federal funds withheld. In the meantime, schools will be using precious resources, both in time and money, trying to meet the standards.

The National School Boards Association and AASA have launched a petition to the U.S. Department of Education and Congress asking for regulatory relief. The petition is available for reading and signing at:

We urge school leaders who agree with this position to help us make our voices heard.

Daniel A. Domenech is executive director of the American Association of School Administrators (AASA).

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