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February 21, 2012

States Win Waiver from Law

Ten states including Colorado, Indiana, and Tennessee have received waivers excluding them from some of the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Law.  Part of this law’s guideline states that children become satisfactory in math and reading by the 2013-’14 academic school year.  States that received the waiver must create goals for university or career planning and have a system in place to follow the schools as well as assist schools with low academic levels.

New Mexico was the only state that applied for a waiver but didn’t receive one.  The Secretary of Education stated they were very close.  28 states have expressed interest in applying for a waiver by the end of February 2012.

President Barack Obama focused on many individualized state ideas as reason to grant the waivers.  He discussed the implementation of Tennessee’s “Achievement District.”  This turns the state’s lowest academically performing public schools into charter schools.

Activists state that these new waivers could make it harder to report minority students and other students with physical/mental challenges which was an area of the No Child Left Behind Law.  “It’s viewed as difficult to include students with disabilities appropriately, because their needs are unique and individualized,” said Lindsay Jones, senior director for policy and advocacy at the Council for Exceptional Children. “But it can be done, and we believe that states are committed to it.”


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