Now, 32 states have won waivers from No Child Left Behind

From U.S. DOE:

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Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont (request withdrawn), West Virginia and Wyoming.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

29 comments Add your comment


July 19th, 2012
12:52 pm

Who says the Obama administration isn’t responsive to the state’s individual needs? It looks as thought the GOP has little to complain about with regard to allowing the state’s the latitude to do their own thing. Bravo, President Obama!


July 19th, 2012
12:57 pm

Right, just like they’ll allow the states to opt out of Obamacare.

John Konop

July 19th, 2012
1:01 pm


A state can opt out of Obamacare via a public exchange.


July 19th, 2012
1:02 pm

EMTAE, you are not phrasing that correctly, I guess you meant opting out of expanding Medicade, but you knew that.


July 19th, 2012
1:03 pm

The empire strikes back

Pride and Joy

July 19th, 2012
1:25 pm

Has anyone else actually read the waiver? It sounds very similar to NCLB.
Therd is still standardized testing and it is till tied to teacher evaluations. Although, I am delighted to get rid of the CRCT if we have a national, standardized test. I want a national test to determine how well my children are learning compared to their peers in the US.


July 19th, 2012
1:35 pm

Those of us that have been teaching for a while (close to twenty years for me) know the old saying, “What’s old is new again.” Common Core, NCLB, and all the other initiatives are all the same things by different names. Every few years some “expert” comes up with a “new” idea to save education and the feds start to salivate which in turn forces the muscles that control the hand that prints money to twitch. This then causes the need for governors of most states (excluding Texas) to fall to their knees and open their arms to the heavens waiting for the money to begin to fall like rain.
Veteran teachers all yawn in response. Different day, same response.


July 19th, 2012
2:20 pm

Well put dbow. That is exactly right.

HS Math Teacher

July 19th, 2012
2:53 pm

Let’s opt out of the poorly designed, and sequenced COMMON CORE. Put two tracks in high school: Track I: Those who want to learn, teach those kids all that they can handle until it’s spilling over; Track II: Those who don’t want to learn, feed them, let them have two hours of P.E. to burn off the mischief that they come to school with everyday, give them a little nap period, and with two hours of school left, teach them the basic 3 R’s they didn’t learn down in elementary, and “middle school”.

Mikey D.

July 19th, 2012
3:27 pm

These waivers were simply a bribe from the Obama administration to accept certain “reforms” hand-picked by Duncan. (Exactly how is it that a man who has never been involved with educating kids suddenly finds himself appointed US Secretary of Education?) I was hopeful that Obama would do a lot to undo the damage of the Bush years, but he’s had the same “blame the teachers” mentality. Shame.

Once Again

July 19th, 2012
3:46 pm

Every state should just formally NULLIFY all federal legislation that is unconstitutional and that they will not go along with.


July 19th, 2012
3:59 pm

So, let’s hope that, asap, each of these states set standards that exceed the federal ones from which they’ve won waivers.


July 19th, 2012
4:00 pm

HS Math Teacher: Maybe three tracks? One “not yet determined” w/fair warning to the kiddies?

Cliff Claven

July 19th, 2012
4:22 pm

Maureen, how will this impact Ga schools?


July 19th, 2012
4:39 pm

Tracking should start in elementary school. It’s not very difficult to see which kids are destined for blue collar vs. white collar careers an which are destined for neither. Of course any track must also have the prerequisite self esteem studies built in (sarcasm).


July 19th, 2012
5:06 pm

If news headlines are read in hell, the NCLB waivers must certainly have Ted Kennedy turning in his grave:


July 19th, 2012
6:04 pm

” I am stupefied” I thought everything went so well during my 8 years in office. I had them all learnin and stuff, chasing after them Dick Cheney missile thingies and other waterboarders, why do they all want to be gone with my good stuff?”

Attentive Parent/Invisible Serfs Collar

July 19th, 2012
7:27 pm

Pride and Joy-I have have read Georgia’s waiver and quite a few other states. Georgia’s says that the fact that a student cannot read will no longer be a barrier to moving along. No indication if the state and feds plan to let the student or his parents know about that significant problem.

Mostly the waivers are a means to get other aspects of the controversial Transformational Outcomes Based Education from the 90s in place without anyone noticing how everything fits together. Effective teacher evals force the classroom teacher into compliance with the OBE model. The school report cards will have a comparable effect on schools. They are a compliance tool for the schools with Principals still intent on content instruction instead of change the student instruction.

I know how higher ed has been and is being radically changed to fit with the Common Core credential carrier but I have not written it up yet. Or at least I haven’t posted it to be more precise.

I have written a few posts on what Career Ready really means. Here’s one of them:

I know Georgia has specifically been involved with the Asia Society’s Global Competence work. My notes show Martha Reichrath at the State DOE as the point person.

We really are on the cutting edge of piloting so many bad ideas. You think it’s because USG basically gets that lottery money no matter what and then needs students to match its planned revenue intake?


July 19th, 2012
8:11 pm

HS Math Teacher. Of course you have it right. You know by 7th grade if a student can handle HS Math or if he has any real need for it. Like science, Big Math should be limited to those students that can excel. The others should get any one of dozens of career choices that will allow them to make a living and make a difference. We build in failure by forcing all students to take the same things.

Attentive Parent/Invisible Serfs Collar

July 19th, 2012
8:21 pm

mitch-that’s not how Common Core works. Nor higher ed after the DQP goes through. The idea is in order to have equal opportunity the coursework to obtain the credential has to be accessible to all students. The only variance is time and participating in group work suffices.

I would ask if officials are trying to blow up the economy but there is lots of evidence this is all about a diffreent knind of economy.

And no one with power over implementation seems to understand what makes an economy work and that you cannot redesign people and societies according to lucrative ‘druthers.

Gravity does not care if you understand it or agree with it. Economics is largely the same.

Attentive Parent/Invisible Serfs Collar

July 19th, 2012
8:22 pm

I need to tell a certain kitty to stay out of my lap while I type.


July 19th, 2012
8:26 pm

God forbid we should actually recognize the inarguable truth that some children are not as smart as others and would be better served by a program that develops what strengths they have. Heresy!

Unfunded pension

July 19th, 2012
8:33 pm

Obama has decided that he alone can decide what laws should be enforced..waivers for NCLB might be popular but Obama’s unilateral action is bad policy.


July 19th, 2012
10:08 pm

@papasmurf: “All men are created equal but not all men are born equal!”


July 19th, 2012
10:54 pm

We’s tried your plan man. Here ins the hood with my homey’s we had to break away bro!
Your plan wasn’t good enuff for my pimps and crack head ho’s. My peeps needs to be free dog!
W, I have to axe you dude what was ya think-in. We don’t want educated these cats.
You let these MF’s learn something man they might want to work. We the government, we don’t want people trying to live on there own. Have you forgots W that we have food stamps, welfare, free lunches etc that we wants to give the people. We need to get together and have a couple of Colt 45’s with a Courvoisier chaser. Hope to see you soon!

I have some extra tax payers money in my wallet so I’ll take to the strip club. Who am I kidding everything is on the tax payer.


July 20th, 2012
3:10 am

Another example of the failed Federal educational system!


July 20th, 2012
11:08 am

Shows you how special we are here in Georgia–us and almost every other state! How funny that NCLB has been jettisoned by almost the whole country! It was such a winner! I predict a similar exodus for RTTT and CC.


July 20th, 2012
11:11 am

This is what happens when “rules” for the performance of a profession are made by non-professionals. (unless you count the profession syncophants and yes-men)


July 21st, 2012
2:54 am

Its good to see that these waivers are being allowed for many states. NCLB was on a one way track to a train wreck. With AMOs creeping to 100% soon, all of public education would have been in needs improvement and Republicans would have the fodder for doing away with public education. Obama has done a great thing.