Education A National Roundup

Pa. Court Rules State Must Hear Reading District’s NCLB Complaint

By Mary Ann Zehr — June 21, 2005 1 min read

The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court has ruled that the Pennsylvania Department of Education must hear the Reading school district’s objections to sanctions imposed by the state under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

The 17,000-student district has challenged the state education department for placing sanctions on some of its schools for not making goals for adequate yearly progress set by the state for the 2003-04 school year. It argues, in part, that the schools didn’t meet their goals because the state doesn’t provide Spanish versions of all of its tests that can be taken by English-language learners.

Richard L. Guida, the district’s lawyer, said the June 6 decision held that a policy established by the state education department last December, which said that districts couldn’t challenge the state’s classifications of schools under the act unless they believed mathematical errors had occurred, doesn’t hold up under state law.

Bethany J. Yenner, a spokeswoman for the state education department, declined comment.