KY & IN officials "pleased" with No Child Left Behind exemption

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - President Barack Obama announced today that he will grant a waiver to ten states including Indiana and Kentucky from the No Child Left Behind law. The law requires that all students must be proficient in reading and math by 2014. In a press release from the White House ten states have agreed to "implement bold reforms around standards and accountability." Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday was with the President for the announcement.

[Statement from The White House granting No Child Left Behind waivers]

A spokesperson for Holliday says both the schools and districts will be held accountable and they must improve from year to year instead reaching an artificial benchmark. The goal is to make kids both college and career ready, which is something that's already happening in Jefferson County.

"Our curriculum is meshing with the technical college curriculum and our apprentices are now graduating with an associates degree that is completely paid for when the graduate the apprentice training center," said Joe Wise, Business Manager for Greater Louisville Building and Construction Trades Council.

As news of the announcement leaked Thursday morning, JCPS counselors learned more about local apprenticeship programs during National School Counseling Week. Dozens toured the Indiana-Kentucky-Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters Southern Office and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 369 Training Center.
"There are so many wonderful careers out there that provide money while the students train," said Dr. Carol Montgomery, JCPS Director of Guidance Services. "These are opportunities that a lot of families and a lot of kids don't know about, and to be honest a lot of counselors until today didn't know about it."

Counselors could see firsthand the training that's available.

"No Child Left Behind really emphasized that college readiness, where as the state of Kentucky and especially our schools in Jefferson County in particular, have looked at college and career readiness," said Jefferson County High School Counselors Association president Michelle Ising.

Both Kentucky and Indiana will monitor schools' growth.

"We'll be measuring teachers and schools on whether the kids grew a year," said Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels. "Regardless where they started, did they learn in at least a year while they were there? I think that's a lot more fair."

Daniels denies this waiver means education is struggling in his state.

"That would be a huge misreading and if anyone asks Sec. (Arne) Duncan, he's going to say that," said Daniels. "What he's going to say is these are leadership states who have moved on teacher accountability."

The White House estimates nearly 30 other states along with D.C. and Puerto Rico may seek waivers.

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