Exemptions for 'No Child Left Behind'

While the "No Child Left Behind" program has been criticized by many, schools have recently agreed to raise their standards.

Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education, has recently stated his intent to override the mandate in George W Bush's 'No Child Left Behind Act' requiring 100% of students to be proficient in math and reading by 2014, reports a NY Times article.

Bush's education plan, which aimed to reform the way schools were evaluated, has been generally regarded as a failure for granting schools only passing or failing grades. This method makes it difficult to differentiate between the chronically failing school and the hardworking school in a low income area. The mandate for high proficiency in math and reading has forced states to lower standards or risk losing much-needed federal funding.

Recently, however, schools have agreed to raise standards. At one school in Tennessee, 91% of students scored proficient in math under old standards; under newly adopted standards only 34% of students scored proficient. This 2014 deadline has complicated schools' efforts to improve.

Mr. Duncan recognizing these issues hopes to offer waivers to the mandate for state proving they are working hard to improve public education, including:

-Creating "college- and career-ready" students at graduation.

-Working to improve teacher effectiveness.

-Working to improve student evaluations.

-Overhauling the lowest-performing schools.

-Adopting locally designed school accountability systems.

Do you think these waivers are a good idea?

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