New testing data show a record number of California public schools are failing under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
That means they'll be subject to serious academic consequences in the coming year, unless California gets a special waiver. The California Report's Education Reporter Ana Tintocalis explains.
Ana Tintocalis: The intent behind No Child Left Behind is to have every child in the U.S. satisfy reading and math proficiency rates by the year 2014 -- which is why federal academic targets rise dramatically every year.
But now, close to 4,000 state schools are failing to meet those targets. They face varying degrees of sanctions -- from increased federal oversight to a complete shutdown.
State schools Superintendent Tom Torlakson says the new data underscores the urgent need for California to secure a federal waiver which would allow schools to sidestep penalties.
University of Southern California Education Professor Morgan Polikoff expects more school districts will be under extreme pressure without a waiver.
Morgan Polikoff: Basically, we're getting to the point where 100 percent proficiency is not possible.
The longer you keep this up, the more negative unintended consequences you can probably expect. Things like more cheating scandals, like we've seen in Atlanta and Pennsylvania?
Tintocalis: There's no word yet on whether federal authorities will grant California's waiver request.
For The California Report, I'm Ana Tintocalis.