"We are in possession of this waiver, which is like gold to us, to some of the laws that were jamming us before," said Hanson
As a result middle schools are getting a re-design. Core subjects will still be emphasized, but some of the supplemental classes, mandated under the federal no child left behind program, dealing with math and English will be dropped.
Teacher Malie Vanderwelde says additional classes were not effective. "And they were also stopping students from taking the elective classes that often times hook a kid and want to make a kid come to school. "
Along with choir and music, more drama, art, and foreign language classes will be available, and middle school students will be able to get high school credit for some classes. It will all be in line with the state's new Common Core Standards plan. The goal is to keep students motivated and in school.
The program starts Wednesday in 11 middle schools, and comes as the state legislature is considering dropping federal testing requirements for all students in California Schools, and replacing them with testing random samples of students.