SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — San Francisco and Oakland are among 10 school districts in the California Office to Reform Education (CORE) requesting exemption from the federal No Child Left Behind Act after a statewide waiver has been denied.

Other states have opted out of the federal act that has been criticized for its mandatory tests that have been described as rigorous. But it appears California is late to the game in being granted the exemption.

In San Francisco Wednesday, U.S. Education Secretary Arnie Duncan continued his tour of Bay Area schools and non-profit agencies.

Duncan said CORE districts represent over a million children, more than many other states his office works with.

“Whether it’s working with CORE, whether it’s working with the state as a whole, we’re open on either front. Our first preference is to work with states, but we’re going to look at the CORE application very seriously,” Duncan said.

But a coalition of eight civil rights groups recently sent Duncan a letter against approving the waiver and said giving districts that kind of flexibility would create two separate standards in the state.

Katie Haycock is with Education Trust, one of the groups that signed the letter.

“When you let districts do their own reporting, their own goal setting, their own storytelling, parents are deprived of honest information on how well their schools are doing,” she explained.

The Education Department has approved 34 state waivers from No Child Left Behind in the past year.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

More From CBS San Francisco

Get The New CBS SF Bay Area Local App
LIVE: Monday through Friday from 3am – 3pm PST

Watch & Listen LIVE