Waiver on No Child Left Behind law for Tennessee, Georgia and 8 other states

Ben Feller and Kimberly Hefling, Times Free Press, February 9, 2012

President Barack Obama today will free 10 states from the strict and sweeping requirements of the No Child Left Behind law, giving leeway to states that promise to improve how they prepare and evaluate students, The Associated Press has learned.

The first 10 states to receive the waivers are Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oklahoma and Tennessee. The only state that applied for the flexibility and did not get it, New Mexico, is working with the administration to get approval, a White House official told the AP.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the states had not yet been announced. A total of 28 other states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have signaled that they, too, plan to seek waivers—a sign of just how vast the law’s burdens have become as a big deadline nears.

No Child Left Behind requires all students to be proficient in reading and math by 2014. Obama’s action strips away that fundamental requirement for those approved for flexibility, provided they offer a viable plan instead. Under the deal, the states must show they will prepare children for college and careers, set new targets for improving achievement among all students, reward the best performing schools and focus help on the ones doing the worst.

In September, Obama called President George W. Bush’s most hyped domestic accomplishment an admirable but flawed effort that hurt students instead of helping them. He said action was necessary because Congress failed to update the law despite widespread bipartisan agreement that it needs fixing. Republicans have charged that by granting waivers, Obama was overreaching his authority.

{snip} No Child Left Behind was primarily designed to help the nation’s poor and minority children and was passed a decade ago with widespread bipartisan support. It has been up for renewal since 2007. {snip}

For all the cheers that states may have about the changes, the move also reflects the sobering reality that the United States is not close to the law’s original goal: getting children to grade level in reading and math.


As the deadline approaches, more schools are failing to meet requirements under the law, with nearly half not doing so last year, according to the Center on Education Policy. {snip}

In states granted a waiver, students will still be tested annually. But starting this fall, schools in those states will no longer face the same prescriptive actions spelled out under No Child Left Behind. A school’s performance will also probably be labeled differently.


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  • Anonymous

    No Child Left Behind is not only failing to meet its goals, it is failing to make much improvement at all. No Child Left Behind makes public school teachers even less willing than they used to be to teach in inner city schools because it punishes them if they cannot get the same results with the illegitimate children of the underclass that they could get with high IQ kids trying to get into the colleges of their choices.
    Charles Murray has argued that American schools get the best results possible, considering what they have to work with. If you pour a quart of water into an empty cup, the cup does not grow; you waste three cups of water. 
    Beyond the city limits of Lake Wobegon it is not the case that “all the children are above average.” Indeed, half the children are below average. Those who find this alarming reveal an understanding of grade school arithmetic that is below average.    

    • Oil Can Harry

      What?!? You mean you can’t eliminate the IQ gap between the races by having more tests?

      This comes as a shock to Dubya and Karl Rove, the brain trust responsible for this law. 

  • NCLB was bad law based on egalitarian delusions.  Obama has already granted waivers to 10 states, he should give them to the other 47 states.

    • I totally got that…..LOL. Nice one.

    • Anonymous

      I  love your sense of humor!

  • Anonymous

    It’s obviously an election year for the mulatto-in-charge to do one thing that makes sense. The only thing that made it bearable for him was that he was UNdoing a Repub’s doing.

    • Bon, From the Land of Babble


      There’s plenty of blame to go around.  NCLB was DOA, but then maybe it was designed to be just that, to pour billions of dollars into states’ educational coffers.

      I’ve mentioned many times here the educational system is NOT about educating children.


      NCLB was a bi-partisan doing.The NCLB  was originally proposed by the administration of George W. Bush immediately after he took office. The bill was shepherded through the Senate by co-author Senator Ted Kennedy, and received overwhelming bipartisan support in Congress.


  • Huh, are the lovely diversity Mexicans in Colorado having a hard time? How about the lovely diversity Somali Bantu tribesmen in Minnesota and Massachusetts? Not quite cutting the mustard I suppose.

    Now Georgia applying for the waivers? That really surprises me. Maybe the school districts haven’t found a way to cheat for the blacks and hispanics in Georgia on the new federal tests without being caught. Again.

    Georgia is especially peculiar as it is very “diverse.” Georgia has the highest percentage of blacks living in it, and aren’t Savannah and Atlanta called Chocolate Meccas? Very, very troubling. Diversity is our greatest strength after all. My best guess is that the southern Whites living there are especially vile and vulgar in their open racism and their hidden institutional racism. I’ll be praying to Black Jesus for them to overcome that.

    • Anonymous

      What do these states have in common?  Or more specifically, who?

      New Mexico does not share this commonality.  Neither does Minnesota, but they’re being rewarded for carving out the new Somali state, and probably for Al Franken keeping the Senate in the Dem’s hands.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, I hate NCLB like anyone else in America (seriously who is still for this law?), but what can’t Obama do nowadays? 

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    Yes.  The dictatorship rolls on!

    The idea of doing things on my own is very tempting, I promise you, not just on immigration reform.

    Barack Obama – Speech to LaRaza July 25, 2011


  • Anonymous

    No Child Left Behind and the billions it wasted didn’t help close the intellligence/IQ gap.  We knew it wouldn’t.  Maybe Obama knows it too?

  • Anonymous

    There will always be notable exceptions to a rule like this, but the rule is that we cannot educate the illegitimate children of unmarried welfare mothers, street walkers, muggers, armed robbers, burglars, and drug dealers. Rather than waste tons of tax dollars trying to turn them into good citizens and well paid professionals, we should be investing the money in the criminal justice system in order to keep them under control. 

  • Anonymous

    Thank-you Comrade Obama for returning education back to the states. The unions and various ethnic groups know more about education than the federal government. It was truly a national embarrassment when most of failing schools turned out to be predominantly minority. Without those pesky test scores and national standards we can now show that a education gap does not exist between different ethnic groups. Without  those pesky test score, local schools will be free to experiment will all sorts of progressive and innovative class. Students will be free to come to school to learn at their own pace in whatever subject they choose in whatever language they choose. Again Comrade Obama, I want to thank-you for freeing our children from the enslavement of learning.

  • Anonymous

    George Bush really believed that NCLB could help minority children.  Obama knows better!

    Obama is a realist.

    I read that poor white kids, who qualify for free or reduced luch at school, score BETTER on standardized tests than their black classmates who are too well off ot qualify for free or reduced lunch.   About 15% of black kids score as well at the whites, but the other 85% are lower and most of those are a LOT lower.  Sad situation.

    • On SAT and ACT tests a White from a poor household making less than $20, 000, living in a neighborhood where the majority of the people are below the $20,000 income, whose parents also divorce, does slightly better than a black from a two parent household with a combined income of $200,000.

      It isn’t parents, poverty, “bad neighborhoods” or any of that.

  • This is pretty standard operating procedure for a left wing government. Yes, even G Dubya could get pretty pink, if not outright Red at times.

    Create a problem
    Mandate a “solution” with rewards for success and failure that the government judges
    The “solution” fails.
    Reward the connected and doctrinaire politically, everybody gets shafted. Or do you really think all ahem, 57 states will get waivers?

    New Mexico is “working on the waiver” and they will get it, too. They vote the right way.

    The White-Hating Dictatorship of Chicago is at it again.

    • Anonymous

      Maybe Obama wanted New Mexico to twist in the wind for a while for electing a Republican governor.  You’re right, they’ll get the waiver soon enough.  I don’t think it’s a swing state in presidential elections anymore.  Many Mexicans live there, though some are white like the Governor.  Many Native Americans and other immigrants from south of the border.  They need that exemption.

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    In 2010, Braak Obama promised us he would fix the public education system  by giving us the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and “Race to the Top.”

    This was supposed to fix the education system already fixed by the 2001 Bush-Kennedy legislation known as “No Child Left Behind.”

    NCLB was supposed to fix a system already fixed by a 1994 federal act entitled “Goals 2000” which was to fix a system already fixed by “America 2000,” a 1991 response during Bush I’s administration to a federal report called “A Nation at Risk.”

    “A Nation at Risk” was published four years after Jimmy Carter promised to fix the nation’s public school system by establishing the Department of Education in 1979.

    If the majority of your students don’t want an education, all of these programs and “fixes” will fail. 

    That is the issue.


  • Jay1

    But they’re still going ahead with all this ‘reform’ of teacher ‘evaluation’ systems.  I know some people here are mad at the teachers unions and all that.  Hear me out: the teaching corp is overwhelmingly white.  Not all are flaming liberals.  The white teaching force is all that is left to pass on white rhythms and ways of thinking and doing things (whether right or left wing is a given, but it’s still white cultural patterns).

    The liberals have been trying to ‘diversify’ the school teaching staffs for years, but the browning of America is happening faster than the white teachers in the system are retiring.  That’s why in almost every picture you see of teachers in their classrooms, it’s older white teachers surrounded by black or brown students. 

    The new teacher evaluations remove any tenure protections, so principals (increasingly non-white, affirmative action hires) can fire any teacher at will, for any reason, and because black and brown children score so much lower than white kids, the ‘data’ provides easy cover to justify it even more.  All of us know that no ‘superman’ teacher can uplift the denizens of urban thug-culture, so by default any white teacher in an area that is browning will be easy pickins’.

    The Left can then bring in their ‘diverse’ teachers who can ‘better relate’ to the students and ‘inspire’ them.  A sprinkling of social justice, 23 year old white leftists provide cheap labor.  At that point, a particular school system no longer teaches in the ‘American’ way, and we lose another chunk of territory to foreigners and racial marxists.

    On every front we and our culture are being erased.