The Obama administration today approved seven more requests for waivers from No Child Left Behind (NCLB), in exchange for state-developed plans to prepare all students for college and career, focus aid on the neediest students, and support effective teaching and leadership. The approved states include Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Oregon and South Carolina, as well as the District of Columbia.
Today's announcement brings to 32 the number of states that have joined in a nationwide, bipartisan movement toward next-generation education reforms that go far beyond No Child Left Behind's rigid, top-down prescriptions.
Federal education law has been due for congressional reauthorization since 2007. In the face of congressional inaction, President Obama announced in September of 2011 that the Obama Administration would grant waivers from NCLB to qualified states.
The first requests for waivers were granted in February of 2012. Five additional requests are still under review, and there is still time for other states to apply. States have until Sept. 6 to apply for the next round of waivers.
"More and more states can't wait any longer for education reform" said U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan. "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."
The 32 states (plus the District of Columbia) that have been approved for waivers from NCLB include: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.
The 5 states with outstanding requests for waivers include California, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, and Nevada.
The 13 states (plus Puerto Rico) that have not yet requested a waiver through this process include; Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont (request withdrawn), West Virginia and Wyoming.