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Education

Can We Get ‘Plain Writing’ on Duncan’s NCLB Waiver Plan?

By Michele McNeil — June 17, 2011 1 min read

The U.S. Department of Education has launched a “plain writing” effort to make its communications more reader-friendly. It’s part of a government-wide initiative to remove “jargon, redundancy, ambiguity, and obscurity” from government communication, so that folks out there have a clearer idea of what the government is doing.

“Such clear communication benefits the public by making it easier to understand and apply for important benefits and services,” said the department’s official blog.

And so the department wants your ideas on how to make their communication more clear and less ambiguous.

Well, I have one!

How about Education Secretary Arne Duncan explains what he means by a “regulatory relief” in exchange for a “basket of reforms”? Given that the 2011-12 school year starts in about two months, there are a ton of advocates, districts, states, and bloggers out there who would like to know more about what his plan is to grant waivers under No Child Left Behind.

Let’s consider the not-so-plain writing from the department’s official press release on how the waivers will work.

“Duncan said that regulatory flexibility will not replace comprehensive reform, or give states and districts a pass from accountability. Instead, the goal is to ‘unleash energy at the local level even as Congress works to rewrite the law, giving states, districts and schools the flexibility they need to raise standards, boost quality, and improve our lowest-performing schools.’ ”

Unleash energy? Could we get a “plain writing” translation, please?

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