The Obama administration today approved the state of Alabama
for a waiver 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.
Since fall 2011, 47 states, D.C., Puerto Rico and the Bureau
of Indian Education have requested waivers from NCLB in order to implement
next-generation education reforms that go far beyond the law's rigid, top-down
prescriptions. The U.S. Department of Education has now approved requests from
38 states and D.C., with other applications still pending.
"Thirty-eight states and the District of Columbia 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 (ESEA) 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."
Federal education law has been due for congressional
reauthorization since 2007. In the face of congressional inaction, President
Obama announced in September 2011 that the Obama administration would grant
waivers from NCLB to qualified states.
The previous 37 states, plus D.C., that have been approved
for waivers from NCLB include: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado,
Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas,
Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi,
Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio,
Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah,
Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
The seven states, plus the Bureau of Indian Education and
Puerto Rico, with outstanding requests for waivers include: Illinois, Iowa,
Maine, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wyoming.
The five states that have not yet requested ESEA flexibility
include: California, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota (request withdrawn), and
Vermont (request withdrawn). California has notified the Department that
the state does not plan to request ESEA flexibility for the next school year,
and instead will focus on implementing the new Common Core state standards. The
Department will continue its consideration of a separate request for waivers
from the CORE districts in California.
For more information, visit: http://www.ed.gov/esea/flexibility/requests.