The Obama administration today approved five 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.
The states approved for waivers are Arkansas, Missouri, South Dakota, Utah and Virginia. Today's announcement brings the number of states with waivers to 24. Thirteen additional applications are still under review.
"These states have joined in a nationwide movement toward state-led education reform now embraced by 24 states," said Secretary Arne Duncan. "Their plans are the product of bold, forward-thinking state and local leaders who have moved beyond the tired old battles and partisan bickering to roll up their sleeves and start working together."
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."