At Least 27 States Ditching No Child Left Behind Arne Duncan says he's encouraging them to do so By Kevin Spak, Newser User Posted Sep 30, 2011 2:18 PM CDT 37 comments Comments Arne Duncan meets with People for the American Way Foundation's Young Elected Officials Network at the Washington Court Hotel on June 3, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Getty Images) (Newser) – It’s been a week since Barack Obama offered to let states out of No Child Left Behind's strictest provisions, and states are jumping to take him up on it. At least 27 states have already told the administration they’re opting out, and most of the rest are still considering it, MSNBC reports. To earn a waiver states must adopt higher standards in some areas than the law requires, but most have already done so. Education Secretary Arne Duncan says he’s actively encouraging states to opt out. “It’s far too punitive, far too prescriptive,” he explained. It “led to a narrowing of the curriculum. None of those things are good for children.” In a sign of just how unpopular the 2002 law is, few critics of Obama’s move to kill it have emerged; in a January poll, 53% said No Child needed “major revisions,” while another 21% wanted it eliminated entirely.