Obama to Let States Out of No Child Left Behind
If they agree to his education reform push
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 23, 2011 8:19 AM CDT
President Barack Obama listens to student Alexandria Sutton, 16, during his visit to a classroom at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Va., Friday, Sept. 16, 2011.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama is today offering states a deal: If they adopt his preferred education reform policies, he’ll let them waive some of the more stringent and unpopular provisions of the No Child Left Behind law—most notably the 2014 deadline for making all students proficient in reading and math. “Our administration will provide flexibility from the law in exchange for a real commitment to undertake change,” Obama said in a statement.

To earn the waiver, states will have to agree to overhaul their under-performing schools, perform more rigorous teacher evaluations, and adopt new “college and career ready” academic standards, officials tell the New York Times. In addition to avoiding the 2014 requirement, which some educators have complained was nigh-impossible to achieve, participating states will be able to replace No Child’s pass-fail assessments of schools with their own rating systems, and will have more say in how they spend federal education money.