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SKSD staff, teachers want R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Staff and teachers from the South Kitsap School District gathered at Joe Knowles Field on Aug. 27 to send a message to U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan. - Courtesy Photo
Staff and teachers from the South Kitsap School District gathered at Joe Knowles Field on Aug. 27 to send a message to U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan.
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

A video made and posted online by the South Kitsap School District caught the eye of Washington Post education reporter Valerie Strauss.

On Strauss’ blog, she noted that SKSD staff found a way to send U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan a message using a short video on social media.

In the video, Superintendent Michelle Reid, speaking before the school district staff on Aug. 27 at Joe Knowles Field, said, “We do not need to be monitored. We need to be trusted and respected.

“As soon as the Congress resolves their job and reauthorizes the NCLB statutes and the state fully funds education, and we are trusted to be the educational experts we are and respected for the efforts we make each and every day, then we will have the support necessary to meet the high expectations we need to meet,” Reid said.

“We have a message for you, Secretary Arne Duncan. We both deserve and expect respect for all that we do each day.”

After the speech, some staff members are seen lip-syncing and dancing to the song, “Respect,” recorded and made popular by Aretha Franklin in 1967.

Washington became the first state to lose its “No Child Left Behind” waiver.

The U.S. Education Department granted exemptions to a number of states that promised to implement specific school reforms acceptable to Duncan. The Education Department stated that the Washington state Legislature failed to pass a law linking teacher evaluation to student standardized test scores — a controversial assessment method embraced by Duncan.

The state now must comply with all parts of No Child Left Behind.

Under NCLB, all of the state’s public schools are seen as failing and superintendents have been sending letters to parents explaining why their children’s schools are being classified that way.

“The U.S. Department of Education grants states waivers from particular aspects or provisions of No Child Left Behind,” said District 26 State Sen. Jan Angel. “We lost the flexibility of using $40 million dollars for our students due to what certainly appeared to be a political game by the Washington Education Association.”

Angel said the issue needs to be addressed federally, but political games hurt our lower income students.

“My fear is it will widen the achievement gap,” Angel said. “Is this a choice that is really better for our children?”

To view the video, go online to www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1KcSOWRGEQ.

 

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