Ten of the first 11 states to apply for a waiver from the controversial No Child Left Behind law will be freed from the law's requirements by President Obama today, the AP reports. Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Tennessee received the waivers; New Mexico's application was not approved, but it is working with the White House to get the OK. Another 28 states, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, are expected to seek waivers in the future; the heavily populated states of California, Pennsylvania, and Texas are among those that have not yet signaled they will apply.
The waiver releases the states from the law's strict requirements—including one dictating that all students must be proficient in math and reading by 2014—as long as the states create another viable improvement plan. States without a waiver will continue to be held to the NCLB standards, Arne Duncan said this week. Republicans have accused Obama of overreach in granting the waivers, but the AP notes that there is "widespread bipartisan agreement" that the law needs to be fixed. It came up for renewal in 2007, but efforts to fix it have been hindered by disagreements ever since. (Read more No Child Left Behind stories.)