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Democratic Response to the Branstad’s request for a waiver from No Child Left Behind

Statement by Senator Herman Quirmbach of Ames, Senate Education Committee Chair

“Senate Democrats remain committed to working with Governor Branstad and Republican legislators on our shared goals of raising academic standards, increasing teacher and school administrator effectiveness, and implementing innovation that increases learning.

“The education reform package developed by Senate Democrats includes some elements of the Governor’s waiver application.

“However, we have no interest in supporting some of the risky, unproven proposals contained in this application.

“It doesn’t make any sense to pass bad state policy in an effort to get a waiver from bad federal policy. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

“We asked Director Glass to share Iowa’s NCLB waiver application on February 8th, so that we could review that application before it was filed.  They instead chose to keep it secret.

“We hope that the Governor and the Department of Education will adopt a more open, transparent, and cooperative approach in the future.

“For the Senate Democrats and the overwhelming majority of Iowans, the education of Iowa’s kids is not a partisan issue.”

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