10 states freed from some 'No Child Left Behind' rules
President Obama thanks Education Secretary Arne Duncan Thursday at the East Room of the White House. The president announced waivers for 10 states for the No Child Left Behind standards.
February 9th, 2012
09:20 AM ET

10 states freed from some 'No Child Left Behind' rules

(CNN) - Ten states are being granted waivers to free them from parts of the No Child Left Behind law, a White House official told CNN Thursday.

President Barack Obama will make the announcement Thursday, saying that the states "that have agreed to implement bold reforms around standards and accountability will receive flexibility from the most burdensome mandates of No Child Left Behind," the official said.

The states are Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.

They will no longer have to meet 2014 targets set by the law.

"In exchange for this flexibility, states have agreed to raise standards, improve accountability, and undertake essential reforms to improve teacher effectiveness," the official said.

New Mexico also requested such flexibility, and the Obama administration is working closely with that state, the official said. Another 28 states, as well as Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., have indicated plans to also seek such flexibility, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity in advance of the announcement.

Topics: President Obama • The News

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soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Fed-up

    Yet what you don't read is the "president" trying to act more like a King and try and backdoor congress! Once again allowing apathy and a degradation of standards to prevail. This bill was passed with widespread bi-partisan support to RAISE the standards and once again the "president" is not enforcing those standards set.

    February 9, 2012 at 10:44 am |
  2. Dave

    Whether or not the President agrees with the law, he does not have the Constitutional authority to release states from the law. Only Congress or the Supreme Court can ultimately make laws null and void. What the President is doing is unconstitutional and runs the risk of impeachment. Had any Republican president done the same, the Democrats would be having a fit and calling for the president's impeachment. What hypocrites.

    February 9, 2012 at 11:25 am |
  3. Steveo

    "and undertake essential reforms to improve teacher effectiveness,"

    The perception is unions circle the wagons around poorly perfoming teachers! Often it is much more than perception as it is reaity! It is going to be interesting to see how the unions respond to this attempt to reform education! Not going to be easy. Just ask Michelle Rhee!

    February 9, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
  4. Nick

    I suggest people look beneath the covers on this one. These waivers had some strings attached – the most onerous being that they had to conform to the Common Standards – meaning your child's education was just nationalized. I hope people notice that the government now controls your education, your college loans, your mortgage, and your health care – and it's all occurred on Obama's watch. Looking more like China every day, Comrade. But since has decreed he "deserves" a second term while employment languishes at 11% (based on the 2009 workforce available) we should just bend over and obey.

    February 9, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • jean2009

      Wake up Nick....

      Federal land grant colleges have always been in control of the majority of the Nation's education, and of education educators, have you never heard of a license to teach? Look up the First Morrill Act of 1862, and federal based and mandated education dates even further back to the Northwest Ordinance of 1787.

      I know this President has done many great things, but Common Standards for education have evolved over time from when the Republic was formed. No Child Left Behind was one step that although it was a start it had many flaws that needed correcting.

      I can remember students and parents struggling with the "new math" phase of the `1960's...that method of teaching math was practical in its hands on learning, but stymied parents and teachers who had learned math by rote and memorizing.

      February 9, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • jean2009

      BTW Nick.
      I enjoy the hilarious explanation examples of the difference between new math and old math as it evolved over time from 1960 through1990 at this website.

      February 9, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • Trace

      Yeah Nick, we have people like you at work...you know the kind that constantly complain whenever some one takes action to fix something that was broken, attempts to address a long standing problem. Appears you petulent complainers are every where. What get's me is, these whiners never show up with anything except pessimism and negativity. My only comfort is that most people realize that fixing a problem doesn't happen overnite, and it requires us all to pull together. But in contrast, we can easily identify those that bring nothing to table....um...that would be you I'd say from your post. Are you comfortable with that designation?

      February 11, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
  5. Kate

    This was done without the consent of Congress. I wonder how that would have gone in public forum if GWB had pulled such a stunt.

    February 9, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
  6. jerry R

    its all government schools...they suck as does everything the govt gets into...now they want your healthcare dollar...so what are you going to do about it?

    February 9, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • jean2009

      Obama-Biden 2012-16

      February 9, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
      • Howard


        February 10, 2012 at 4:39 am |
    • Trace

      ...ok, I don't what it is with you and the rest to GOP/Tea Potty patrol, but is not "Gub-mint skul'in" its called "public education". And for those of us that had to finish, and actually able to go on and achieve advanced degrees, it worked well. But there was thing called Brown v. Board of Educ. which contends every child should be afforded a good education. I regret the fact you didn't have such an opportunity. You and many others like you, prove the system, at times fails. But we are trying to make it right for today's children. In the meantime, you serve as a reminder to us all why a proper education should remain an imperative for this nation's future.

      February 11, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
  7. jadon

    ohio not there of course \

    February 9, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
  8. Joey

    I guess this means that there will be children left behind regardless of good intentions. The public schools have gotten worse over the years and it will likely continue.

    February 9, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  9. dontbow

    so your chil d is now getting a waiver to not be helped by no child left behind. I guess that means they are going to be left behind then. they will grow up to be the next occupiers.

    February 9, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
  10. jerrylax

    our children are educated in government schools...if you want them to have a good education you should move them to private schools. I know in the UK their schools are almost as inept as ours...you spend a fortune to educate you child in prep for college...then college is not expensive. That is the socialist model. We let the libs and the unions take control of our system and the results show it. Mrs. Barbara Bush tried her best to do something for our system...and even other countries...she is a teacher and always taught in underprivileged schools and under stood the problem... so, now enter the vote buying scam artist (obama)...back to the LBJ failed models.

    February 9, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • Hawk in Texas

      You should read up on the subject before posting such drivel. george w. enacted no child left behind but he did not fund it. that was the problem. just like he started 2 wars that were not funded. all this tripled the national debt. it is about the money.

      February 10, 2012 at 8:38 am |
      • Steveo

        GWB may have enacted it but Ted Kennedy helped write it! No president funds anything! That is the job of the Congress!

        February 10, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
      • Trace

        Way to go Steveo!!! I see those Independent leanings ....excuse GWB and lay it at the feet of Kennedy and congress, while completely missing the opportunity to give an honorable mention to the Obama Administration for at least trying to fix a historical problem that has only been made worse since being signed into law by THE MOST reading challenged (english as a 2nd language) president in the history of this nation.

        Now, don't get me wrong. I thought Dubya was overall a good guy. But when he took office, I made it a point to make sure my 2 year old, that was just learning to speak, didn't use #43 as a modeling for public speaking. Was I wrong? I don't even need to hear your opinion on the topic because my child is exceptional.

        But overall on your last post, you get a big fat "Fail" ...it was pathetic an all fronts. And this is coming from your friend.

        February 11, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
      • Steveo


        Where did I excuse anybody? I stated GWB enacted this bill! As President, he signed the bill into law. Yet Congress provides teh funds. Trace if Kennedy di dnot help write this, exactly what bill would have been signed into law? How many ds supported this bill? Look it up, my friend! Once again, both parties are reponsible! Maybe I should trade mark that saying!

        Here is a challenge my friend, point out (in my post) where I am wrong! BTW her eis a little info:

        The legislation was proposed by President George W. Bush on January 23, 2001. It was coauthored by Representatives John Boehner (R-OH), George Miller (D-CA), and Senators Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and Judd Gregg (R-NH). The United States House of Representatives passed the bill on May 23, 2001 (voting 384–45),[6] and the United States Senate passed it on June 14, 2001 (voting 91–8).[7] President Bush signed it into law on January 8, 2002.

        I know you hate to hear it but based upon the FACTS above, the Dems responsible too!

        Still pathetic? Or is it just your adversion to the truth that is a big fat fail? Funny when I say "no president funds anything" and refer it to Obama, you want to chest bump and high five me! Doesn't that statement appliy equally to all Presidents, whether D or R?

        February 13, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
      • jean2009

        No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, was campaigned on by George W. Bush heavily. His was listening to My Pet Goat a part of that campaign. Basically NCLB was not as much about improving schools as it was to be a profitable cash cow for Neil and Jeb Bush and the Texas text book publishers...Neil Bush owned a company Reading First which was a prime benefactor of NCLB.


        February 13, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
      • jean2009

        sorry...He was

        February 13, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
      • Steveo


        Many Dems to include Ted Kennedy was on board. Did Bush snooker them too?

        February 13, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
      • Steveo

        Let me clarify. If those who voted for it didn't do their due diligence in reseaching and understanding this bill, they have no business in Congress! It reminds me of Pelosi's "we vote for it so we can know what's in it". Agiain, the blame also goes to those who helped write it, those who voted for it and those who signed it. !

        February 13, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
      • jean2009

        Thank you....I posted several paragraphs and you said it in 3 lines. It is the cost of those unfunded wars, the profiteering, and tax breaks for the wealthy that got in the way.

        February 13, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • jean2009

      @ Exlax...
      FYI...Laura Bush was the teacher. Barbara Bush was the daughter of Marvin and Pauline Pierce, her father was the president of McCall Corporation which publishes Redbook and McCall's magazines. Barbara dropped out of college when she married George H.W. Bush, to be a mother and a navy wife. They moved 29 times during their marriage before he became president....that and raising 5 children would hardly be conducive to a teaching career.

      Also from colonial times to today education has been at the forefront of this country and getting it right has been a constant goal.....NCLB was not and is not all it was cracked up to be....frankly it would have worked better had GOP been better at funding the project. There was a $86 Billion dollar gap in the funding promised and the funds received. Or, maybe it would have worked better had too many hands not been in the cookie jar.

      The first legislation about education was passed in 1642 by the Massachusetts Bay Colony which required that children be taught to read and write.

      I don't think anyone is saying that schools should not be held accountable for not teaching students. However education cannot work unless it is funded. Therein lies the problem. Providing only enough funding to teach to pass a test should not be the goal...that does not provide a well rounded education.

      Sen. Kennedy may have helped write the legislation, but later he complained that the mandate was not being sufficiently funded.


      February 13, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • jean2009

      Actually as earlier as 2007 and 2008 there were efforts by the NEA to improve NCLB with 145 pieces of legislation that would make changes and provide better funding.


      February 13, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
      • Steveo

        I appreciate the info, Jean2009. Not sure why it passed Congress with the wide margins it did and then fail to be fully funded! !

        February 13, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
  11. goodvaguy

    Finally an end to another bad idea from the War Criminal Bush. Now if we can just end the ignorant tax breaks for the rich.

    February 9, 2012 at 9:56 pm |