Add South Dakota to the very short list of states that are planning to defy the No Child Left Behind Act.
Idaho has already said it plans to openly disregard the nation’s chief education law, and if Education Secretary Arne Duncan doesn’t hurry up and announce a formal plan for waivers, expect the list of disobedient states to grow longer. UPDATE: And let’s not forget, as I did, that Montana was out front on this, declaring in April that the state would freeze its proficiency targets.
Like Idaho, South Dakota is planning to freeze its performance targets at 2009-10 levels, with South Dakota Education Secretary Melody Schopp saying her department doesn’t have the manpower to intervene in a growing number of schools. (UPDATE: Read Schopp’s letter.) By 2014, the law calls for schools to bring 100 percent of their students to proficiency in math and language arts. This deadline is proving troublesome, to say the least.