More than 60 schools in San Diego County were declared to be in a state of emergency today by the California State Board of Education because of their test scores, a step that allows their students to enroll in other schools.
The controversial emergency declaration is supposed to accelerate a new law that allows students in 1,000 of California’s lowest performing schools to transfer to other schools with higher test scores, including schools in other districts. It states that the move is “necessary to avoid serious harm to the public peace, health, safety, or general welfare” of students.
The law was passed partly to make California more eligible for Race to the Top, a coveted federal grant that it hasn’t gotten so far. The law has been controversial with parent groups who say the rushed process is unnecessarily alarming parents and school districts who say schools are being unfairly tagged as failures. The California School Boards Association called it “patently unworkable.”
California Watch does a nice job of breaking down what this means:
The law sets out a timeline allowing parents to apply to transfer their children to schools in other districts by Jan. 1 preceding the school year they wish to transfer. But the state board wants the law implemented immediately, to allow students who wish to enroll in other districts by November 1, rather than the fall of 2011, as the law seemed to envisage.