The Obama administration approved eight additional states for flexibility from key provisions of 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. Today's announcement brings the number of states with waivers to 19. Eighteen additional applications are still under review.
At an event in Hartford, Connecticut, with Gov. Dannel Malloy, U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro and a host of local, state and federal officials, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced waivers for Connecticut, Delaware, Louisiana, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Rhode Island.
"These eight additional states are getting more flexibility with federal funds and relief from NCLB's one-size-fits-all federal mandates in order to develop locally-tailored solutions to meet their unique educational challenges," Duncan said.
Duncan pointed out that many of the new state-created accountability systems capture more students at risk, including low-income students, students with disabilities, and English learners, adding, "States must show they are protecting children in order to get flexibility. These states met that bar."
Connecticut's plan, for example, raises the number of schools accountable for the performance of students with disabilities from 276 to 683; free and reduced-price lunch students from 757 to 928; African American students from 280 to 414; Hispanic students from 356 to 548; and English learners from 97 to 209. States previously granted waivers include Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Tennessee.