New Waiver Brings Changes To The Classroom

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By 2013 students and teachers can expect changes in the classroom.

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced plans to exempt Ohio from the No Child Left Behind Law.

Ohio is among 17 states that have received a waiver.

The No Child Left Behind Law, passed in 2001, created controversy because it required that one hundred percent of students be proficient in math and reading by 2014.

The Ohio Department of Education submitted a plan to the U.S. Department of Education to improve student performance, boost college readiness, and hold teachers and principals more accountable for student success.

The new system will focus on individual achievement in the classroom; teachers may face the greatest challenges adjusting to the new system.

Director of Curriculum for Alexander Schools Kara Raines said teachers will struggle to find a balance between teaching what is evaluated and what teachers morally feel the students should learn.

According to Raines, under the new system, student progress will be evaluated by individual test scores and curriculum will focus less on fine arts, extra-curricular activities and life skills.

While these things may not be quantifiable, Raines said that these subjects are essential in the learning process.

“They may not show up on a report card but as a parent and an educator I think that those are some of the most important things we do with kids.”

Athens County Schools will not see much change in the classroom, but some material will be introduced to students earlier to prepare for the tougher evaluation system.

“How teachers are evaluated will be different, how the report card looks will be different, what’s being taught in the classroom will be somewhat different,” said Raines.

Raines also said that teachers will need to accommodate new material in their lessons, but students will not see a variation in teaching styles.

While Ohio is one of eight states to be added to the waiver, the state joins 11 other states that have already received it.