It's the end of no child left behind in Oregon. A waiver passed today which allows Oregon schools to say goodbye to federally mandated standards and measure success their own way.
No child left behind is a federal educational ruling which requires students to meet standardized benchmarks, or face penalties.
While officials say the goal of the law is admirable in theory, in practice it didn't work.
Changing the standard. Juan Robles is a student at Washington Elementary and says he did extra testing in order to pass standardized tests, "We had to do extra stuff."
No child left behind demands that every year more children pass tests in reading, writing and math...regardless of the child.
However, officials like Terri Dahl tell us 'the one size fits all approach' wasn't working for everyone. "So a student who is new to the school and is an English language learner would be expected to make the same amount of growth as a student who's been in the country they're entire life.'
So Oregon schools set out to find a way to evaluate achievement based on growth. Dahl says, "The growth model takes into account where they're at and where they've grown throughout the year."
She says that's important for Oregon schools, especially here in the Rogue Valley because..."Jackson County has one of the highest homeless rates in the state.'
There are seven title one schools in Medford alone. They are defined by the number of children receiving reduced or free lunches and the Census Poverty Count. Often students at these schools are automatically at a disadvantage, the growth model will help them.
"It's a home grown approach and an alternative to No Child Left Behind," concludes Dahl.
So while 11 year old Juan enjoys his summer, district employees are hard at work getting ready to implement that home grown approach they say will help students here at home.
Oregon is only one of seven states granted the waiver from No Child Left Behind.