President Obama on Thursday will offer waivers to 10 states that applied for exclusion from some aspects of the No Child Left Behind Law, according to a report in The Associated Press that cited an anonymous White House official.
The first 10 states are Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oklahoma and Tennessee. New Mexico, the only state to apply and not be granted a waiver, is still working with the administration on its application.
The George W. Bush-era legislation requires that all students be proficient in reading and math by 2014, and would penalize those schools where the children failed to reach required standards. Critics say it led to “teaching to the test” in classrooms.
According to the Center on Education Policy, nearly half of all schools failed to meet the program’s requirements in 2011, and the requirements become stricter every year.
There is broad support among both parties to reform the legislation, which Obama has called admirable but flawed. However, Congress has been gridlocked over how to do so since it came up for renewal in 2007.
Still, critics of the president call the waivers an overreach of authority.
Secretary of Education Arne DuncanArne Starkey DuncanStripping opportunity from DC's children Catherine Lhamon will make our schools better, fairer, and more just Providing the transparency parents deserve MORE has said as recently as this week that the administration “desperately” wants Congress to fix the law as an alternative to the waivers.
The states that will receive waivers on Thursday had to submit a viable alternative that sets new achievement targets, prepares children for college and careers and offers rewards to the best-performing schools.
A total of 28 other states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico still intend to apply for the waivers.