BLOG: OKC school leader blames state lawmakers for NCLB waiver denial

The leader of the state’s largest school district criticized the state Legislature for playing politics with education following today’s announcement that Oklahoma’s request for a waiver on the No Child Left Behind standards had been denied.

“I am not surprised by the US Department of Education’s decision to revoke Oklahoma’s waiver; this makes the state legislature’s decision to repeal Common Core that much more disconcerting,” Oklahoma City Public Schools superintendent Robert Neu said in a statement. “Our state elected leaders knew we had a risk of going back to the failed public policy of No Child Left Behind.”

In a letter to State Superintendent Janet Barresi, U.S. Department of Education Assistant Secretary Deborah Delisle said the federal government wasn’t able to track education standards in Oklahoma because it had decided to reject Common Core.

Without the waiver, as much as $100 million in education funding could be restricted, giving local school districts less flexibility in how the money is spent.

During his state of the schools address last week, Neu said the district would work to create its own curriculum and in today’s statement on NCLB he said the district remained “committed to making sure each of our students reaches his or her full potential and I know that our talented and committed staff will continue to serve our children–despite the elected official’s ability to do so.”

Ben Felder

Ben is an urban affairs reporter covering local government and education in Oklahoma City. He lives in OKC with his wife, Lori, and son, Satchel. Ben holds a masters in new media journalism from Full Sail University and is an OKC transplant from Kansas City, Mo. Twitter: @benfelder_okg

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