No Child Left Behind law waived in 10 states

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    In this Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012 photo, Massachusetts Education Secretary Paul Reville observes Brittany Barboso, left, and Marcus DaSilva, right, solving math problems in their sixth grade class at Roosevelt Middle School in New Bedford, Mass. Reville said Thursday that President Barack Obama's waiver to free Massachusetts from some requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind law is a a vote of confidence in the state's system for identifying and improving low-performing schools. (AP Photo/The Standard-Times, Peter Pereira)

    President Barack Obama will give 10 states waivers for the No Child Child Left Behind law, the Associated Press reported today.

    An Obama administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told the Washington Post that Obama plans to announce the waivers officially later today.

    NBC reported that the ten states free from the strict No Child Left Behind requirements are Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oklahoma and Tennessee. Another 28 states, along with the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, said they will also apply for waivers from the law.

    The No Child Left Behind Act, signed by former president George W. Bush in 2002, was created to help poor and minority students. The law encourages schools to help students improve their standardized test scores and imposes strict penalties on schools that don’t reach testing goals. The penalties included firing staff and busing children to other schools.

    But the waivers provided by Obama would now free those 10 states from the law’s toughest rules, the Washington Post reported. The states had applied for the waviers because they said they would be unable to meet the law’s upcoming deadlines, which include that every student be proficient in reading and math by 2014.

    In March of last year, Obama announced that while he agreed with the intent of No Child Left Behind, he thought that it didn’t give schools enough funding or flexibility to actually follow the law and make it effective, reported the New York Times.

    Critics of the law, including teachers, argue that it places too much focus on standardized tests.

    Last September, representatives from the Teachers Union told ABC News that they would legally challenge No Child Left Behind because they believe the law is too strict and does not provide schools with adequate funding.

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