No Child Left Behind Waived For 10 States
President Obama is freeing 10 states from some of the requirements of "No Child Left Behind". The states included in the waiver are Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. These schools will pursue alternative methods of judging student progress. As a condition of the waiver, the states will raise standards, improve accountability, and take steps to improve teacher effectiveness.
New Mexico has also requested an exemption from the requirements of No Child Left Behind. The Department of Education has received alerts from 28 other states, including Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, stating their intent to seek waivers.
Nearly half of United States public schools are failing to perform adequately under the standards of the No Child Left Behind Law. In 2011, 48 percent of schools weren't producing passing results, an increase from 39 percent in 2010. The Obama administration believes that schools need more flexibility.
Under No Child Left Behind, each state is required to establish proficiency tests and determine how passing scores are measured. The Obama administration, backed by educators, believes that these requirements lead to a reduction in education standards, weakened accountability and a narrower curriculum. According to Education Secretary Arne Duncan, the pressure to have passing scores, leads to schools making tests too easy. The education law has been due for an overhaul for over five years, but Congress hasn't acted on the submitted suggestions in a March 2010 "blueprint for reform."
The 10 states getting waivers will be exempt from the targets of the 2014 law and granted more flexibility in using federal education funds for students from low-income families. These schools will still be required to boost student performance and close achievement gaps.