Texas granted No Child Left Behind waiver

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The waivers are necessary, the administration claims, because lawmakers in Congress have failed since 2007 to reauthorize and update the law, which is the latest version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

"Forty two states and the District of Columbia can't wait any longer for education reform,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a statement Monday. "A strong, bipartisan reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act remains the best path forward in education reform, but as these states have demonstrated, our kids can't wait any longer for Congress to act."

Republican critics of the Obama administration’s waiver program allege that it is merely substituting one set of strict federal standards with another. They maintain that states and local school boards should be in charge of what children learn.

In August, the administration extended waivers for 34 states and the District of Columbia, which were set to expire at the end of the current school year. 

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