In February, 11 states were granted waivers from some parts of the No Child Left Behind education reform law after they agreed to continue to raise standards and accountability but with a more flexible approach.
“We’ve offered every state the same deal: We’ve said, if you’re willing to set higher, more honest standards then we’re going to give you the flexibility to meet those standards,” President Obama said then in a New York Times article.
Since NCLB was signed into law by President Bush in 2001, many educators, parents and students have argued that its stringent standards took away the creativity and flexibility needed in classrooms. In their minds, classrooms are becoming so focused on reaching goal numbers on the tests that other areas are ignored or neglected.
The 11 states receiving waivers are: Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Tennessee.
As of the end of February, 26 additional states and the District of Columbia had already formally submitted waiver requests to the U.S. Department of Education, according to a U.S. Department of Education press release.
“The best ideas to meet the needs of individual students are going to come from the local level. Like the first round of waiver applicants, these plans will protect children, raise the bar and give states the freedom to implement reforms that improve student achievement,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in the release.
Has your state received a NCLB waiver? How has NCLB affected your classroom?