Uinta County School District #1

Weekly Newsletter-April 2018, Vol. 20

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ESSA: An Opportunity for American Education


Educators are familiar with the reform strategies that have swept over them since the passage of NCLB—launching test-based accountability that ensured every public school would eventually be designated as failing, increasing the availability of vouchers so students could abandon public schools, taking steps to make it easier to fire educators and replace them with people who have no background in education, insisting on teacher evaluation based on standardized test scores, reconstituting schools, closing schools, and providing merit pay. All of this was done to promote the goals of ensuring American schools become the highest-performing schools in the world and improving the achievement of poor and minority students.

After fifteen years of experience with these punitive strategies, it is fair to ask, “How has that worked for us?” In my recent book, (2015), I make the case that the reforms have failed. I am not alone in arriving at this conclusion. The National Center for Education and the Economy concluded: “There is no evidence that it [the reform agenda] is contributing anything to improved student performance, much less the improved performance of the very low-income and minority students for which it was in the first instance created” (Tucker 2014). The National Education Policy Center wrote, “A sober and honest look at the effects of the No Child Left Behind Act reveals a broad consensus among researchers that this system is at best ineffective and at worst counter-productive” (Weiner and Mathis 2015). The number of American students scoring below proficient on the international PISA exam has remained flat for more than a decade (Sparks 2016), and other indicators of student achievement were rising faster in the decade before NCLB than the decade after its passage (FairTest 2015). Not a single state came anywhere near the goals established by NCLB, and none of the highestperforming nations in the world were using any of the reform strategies being imposed upon American public schools.

Based on this overwhelming evidence of failure to come close to achieving the intended purposes of these initiatives, it would seem apparent that now that states and districts are no longer bound by the provisions of NCLB and RTTT, they would pursue new approaches to improving their schools. History, however, warns that this logic may not apply.

2016 Solution Tree Press, by Rick DuFour

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2nd-Andra Trammel

3rd-Julie Badura, Caitlyn Morrow

4th-Doug Rigby

5th-Cheryl Cranford, Jowell Deru

6th-Paula Cox, Vicky Kennedy, Molly Pedroza-Castillo

7th-Dawnell Saxton, Delia Hansen

8th-Gar Powell

9th-Celeste Hatch

11th-Helen Hutchinson, Vickie Ehlers

12th-Bryce Strampe

13th-Steve Peterson

14th-Juanita Cendejas

15th-Lisa Platt

16th-Beth Barker

18th-Victoria Kasper

20th-Gary Barker, Keith Fry

22nd-Natalie Green


UCSD#1 Administration

Ryan Thomas, Superintendent Ext.1020

Cheri Dunford, Supt., Board Exec. Assistant Ext. 1021

Dr. Joseph Ingalls, Assistant Superintendent K-5 Ext. 1026

Doug Rigby, Assistant Superintendent 6-12 Ext. 1025

Alicia Johnson, Instructional Services Admin. Asst. Ext. 1024

Kristine Hayduk, Human Resources Ext. 1023

Matt Williams, SPED Director Ext. 1040

Shannon Arellanes, SPED Admin. Asst. Ext. 1041

Bubba O'Neill, Activities Director Ext. 1060

Dauna Bruce, Activities Admin. Asst. Ext. 1061

John Williams, Business Director, Ext. 1030

Jaraun Dennis, Facilities Director, Ext. 1075