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Effects of NCLB waiver being determined in Long County
WEB Dr. Purcell gives report on NCLB waiver to Long BoE
Dr. Glenn Purcell, assistant superintendent/curriculum director, gives a report Feb. 13 to the Long County Board of Education on the No Child Left Behind waiver. - photo by Photo by Mike Riddle

The Long County Board of Education received a presentation Feb. 13 from Dr. Glenn Purcell, assistant superintendent/curriculum director, concerning how Georgia’s waiver from meeting No Child Left Behind standards will affect the school system.

“I can’t say with enough magnitude just how much this changes the way we do business,” Purcell said.

According to Purcell, instead of schools having to meet federal guidelines set by NCLB, the states given the waiver now will be able to come up with their own recommended guidelines that will be approved by the federal government. Purcell said that while standardized testing still would be a part of the guidelines, the variables of the testing would change. Purcell said that it took local school systems several years to get an understanding of how they were affected by the old standards under NCLB, and that it will take some time before the effects of the waiver are known.

 “It’s going to be an ongoing process, taking at least six months or more for us to digest all of the changes,” Purcell said.
Superintendent Dr. Robert Waters said that it took the Long County school system about six years to fully understand how NCLB affected it.

On Feb. 9, Georgia was one of 10 states given a waiver on having to meet NCLB standards. NCLB was enacted in 2002 to create standardized testing for schools, with annual benchmarks that they were required to attain. The goal was to attain a 100 percent graduation rate. As the standards became more stringent, educators have been more critical of the guidelines, stating that they were unrealistic, and that they are being forced to teach students how to pass a test instead of teaching them.

The board also:

• approved a construction workshop on the building on the new high school for 5:30 p.m. March 6

• changed the deadline for contractors to submit bids to do work on the new high school to 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23 from Feb. 17

• reported that the site preparation for the new high school is continuing, and that a sign was scheduled to be placed at the location sometime last week.

• approved a facilities resolution.

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