by Donna Krache, CNN
(CNN) Nearly three-quarters of the nation’s states have now asked the federal government for permission to work around the requirements of No Child Left Behind.
Under NCLB (also referred to as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, or ESEA) states are required to meet stringent goals for student academic performance, including 100% proficiency for all students in reading and math by 2014, a goal many see as unattainable. In September 2011, President Obama announced that the Department of Education would grant waivers to states that could devise “rigorous and comprehensive plans” aimed at improving educational outcomes and accountability.
In the first round of requests, 11 states were granted waivers from NCLB.
According to Education Week, 26 additional states plus the istrict of Columbia requested waivers by the February 28 deadline. Those states are: Arkansas, Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Idaho ,Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin. The states will be informed of the Department’s ruling on their requests later this spring.
As more states pursue waivers from NCLB, some critics charge that the waivers are undermining accountability and some say they are ceding state education power to the federal government.
The deadline for states to submit for the next round of waiver requests is September 6.
Want to know your state’s status? The U.S. Department of Education maintains a Status of State Requests chart .