States Get Waivers for 'No Child Left Behind' Law

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The highly debated "No Child Left Behind" law may be left behind this year.

The Obama administration says it will announce a new waiver system on Monday that will give schools across the country a break from some of the mandates of the law.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan says 82 percent of all U.S. schools could be labeled a failure next year if the law is not changed.

The goal of the No Child Left Behind law is to have every student proficient in math and reading by 2014. States have been required to bring more students up to the math and reading standards each year, based on tests that usually take place each spring.

The step-by-step ramping up of the 9-year-old law has caused stress in states and most school districts, because more and more schools are labeled as failures as too few of their students have met testing goals.

The plan to offer waivers to all 50 states, as long as they meet other school reform requirements, comes at the request of President Obama, Duncan said. More details on the waivers will come in September, he said.

Duncan and Melody Barnes, director of the Domestic Policy Council at the White House, said the administration will encourage every state to apply and will work with them to meet the requirements.

However, congressional Republicans say they're leery of the move, warning it could undermine their effort to reauthorize the law.

"I remain concerned that temporary measures instituted by the department, such as conditional waivers, could undermine the committee's efforts to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act," said Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., the chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, in a statement, referring to the formal name of the No Child Left Behind law.

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