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EPISD superintendent meets with Obama about No Child Left Behind

The goal is to rewrite “no Child Left behind,” by April. That’s the 2002 law that mandates annual testing to monitor students’ progress. As the Republican-led congress prepares to do this, President Obama is preparing to fight it, but first he wants to seek input from El Paso Independent School District Superintendent Juan Cabrera.

“We’re example of what happens when testing is the only measure,” Cabrera told ABC-7. “Not only did it partially cause the scandal. But it also doesn’t make learning fun for kids and it doesn’t make it fun for teachers.”

While Cabrera said the hour long meeting between the Obama administration, eight superintendents and three board members, was intended to gauge what they felt worked under No Child Left Behind, Cabrera made clear that getting rid of the overwhelming amount of testing has got to be the goal as Congress rewrites the law.

“We want accountability,” Cabrera said. “I’m not saying we don’t need accountability, I understand that, Republicans would never let us have that. And that’s fine I believe in that. We just need to find measures that aren’t so taxing on people and don’t take up so much of the year for our kids and teachers.”

New proposed measures are murky at this point, although leaders of the Senate education committee say there is significant progress in the negotiations.
But the big worry is funding could be cut from the multi-billion dollar program because congress will keep the budget at sequester level funding.

“We would actually be spending less on pre-K through-12th in America’s schools then we were back in 2000, and that’s adjusted for inflation,” Obama said at the meeting.

“No Child Left Behind did a lot of things right,” Cabrera said. “But I think we got into over-testing. And I think he [Obama] just wanted reinforcement that we supported him if he was going to try to veto that bill that would come from Congress.”

Cabrera said he most likely will be called out to share his concerns before Congress in the coming weeks.

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